Last week, it came to light that Gearbox, its CEO Randy Pitchford, and its former lawyer Wade Callender were locked in a complex legal battle involving contract violations, corporate irresponsibility, company secrets, and pornography. Today, a discrimination claim filed ten days before the first lawsuit makes the situation even murkier.
Ars Technica reports it has obtained a dicrimination claim that Wade Callender filed with Texas Workforce Commission's Civil Rights Division on October 27, 2018, just ten days before Gearbox sued him for fraud and breach of fiduciary duty. The claim alleges that Pitchford harassed him throughout his time at Gearbox for his Christian faith.
"During my employment with the Respondent [Gearbox Software], I have been subjected to unfair standards and expectations based on my religion," the claim reads. "Mr. Randy Pitchford (President & CEO) would constantly harass me based on my religious beliefs. Mr. Pitchford would state that my religious beliefs were retarded and indicative of a broken brain. Mr. Pitchford would often visit my office with gifts ridiculing Christianity."
The claim states that the harassment began in June 2010, which was the time Callender began work at Gearbox. Callender says he reported the harassment to HR at an unspecified date, but that it became more severe following the report.
"After I notified the Respondent that I could no longer tolerate the persistent hostile work environment and wanted to commence with my exit-negotiations, Mr. Pitchford immediately notified other employees that he was accepting my resignation, which was non-existent," the claim continues. "I was immediately restricted from my Gearbox email account, personnel, resources, and access to the building. I believe I was retaliated against and terminated from my position based on my religion (Christian)."
Gearbox's lawsuit, filed ten days later, focuses on issues of financial irresponsibility, claiming that Callender failed to repay number of loans and abused his company credit card privledges for personal expenses such as "family vacations, gun club memberships...and trying to get six-pack abs."
Callender has since filed his own lawsuit against Gearbox that does not mention religious harassment, though it does mention that "Pitchford wielded vile bigotry against Callender and charitable causes about which Callender cared" as a part of the narrative of their deteriorating relationship.
The crux of Callender's suit is the accusation that Pitchford received a secret "executive bonus" from Borderlands of $12 million that ought to have gone to other employees. It also alleges other issues of corporate irresponsibility such as leaving a memory stick containing corporate secrets and pornography at a Texas restaurant.