A man has been fired from Electronic Arts Ireland for making references to his penis while speaking to a female colleague.
The Irish Independent reports that Philippe Grenet, who was director of global delivery service for the publisher's Irish office, has been accused of saying he was not "going to pull my dick out and put it on the table... to see who has the bigger dick."
The remark was allegedly made in a one-to-one video conversation with a female colleague based in EA's Austin, Texas office. She made a complaint that led to Grenet's dismissal.
In the High Court, Grenet and his defence counsel claimed what he actually said was "I don't want to compare the length of my dick" as a clumsy expression ultimately meaning he "did not want to challenge" the person to whom he was referring.
Grenet's counsel emphasised that English is not his first language, having moved from France earlier this year, and that his words had been "twisted out of context".
Grenet and his counsel further argue that not only was there no proper investigation into the complaint against him, but there was also no fair procedure before he was dismissed.
He further alleges that his colleague is motivated by malice, having been unsuccessful at applying for the job he held. He claims she has regularly shown a negative attitude towards him and undermined him as her manager.
EA's counsel claimed Grenet admitted the wrongdoing and that the publisher is within its rights to terminate his employment, denying there are any flaws in the disciplinary process.
The court granted an injunction that prevents EA from appointing anyone else to Grenet's former role until the matter is settled, with the case due to continue next week.