A gentleman diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and employed at Amazon has asserted that he experienced mistreatment and harassment from colleagues. Despite reporting the incidents, the company allegedly took no action. Subsequently, a jury has granted $1.2 million to the individual, Michael Kopp, determining that the company deliberately caused him emotional distress.
Having Asperger’s Syndrome and dyslexia, conditions that pose challenges in reading, nonverbal communication, and social interactions, Kopp demonstrated remarkable productivity. Amazon acknowledged him as the third most productive associate for the warehouse where he was employed in 2019, despite his disabilities.
Initially brought on as a temporary staff member in late 2015, Kopp transitioned to a full-time role in early 2016. Regrettably, during his tenure, he faced mistreatment from colleagues who subjected him to hurtful comments. This included derogatory remarks, such as labeling him a “waste of life,” encouraging him to take his own life, and using offensive terms like “retard.” He endured a hostile environment where he was told that he was disliked by everyone at the company.
The mistreatment from his colleagues extended beyond verbal abuse, encompassing physical actions such as hurling packages in his direction. In a specific incident dating back to 2017, a coworker threw a four-pound box at Kopp’s head, an act that he claims resulted in numbness in his limbs.
Upon lodging a complaint with his supervisor, Kopp was advised against reporting the incident to Human Resources. The reason given was that the individual accused of the act was deemed to be in desperate need of the job. The intensity of the harassment reached a point where Kopp started experiencing physical symptoms of illness attributed to stress. Seeking medical attention, his doctor issued a note excusing him from work.
However, Kopp’s manager and a human resources manager asserted that Amazon didn’t acknowledge doctor’s notes, insisting that he had to work that day. Faced with this situation, Kopp decided to leave and did not return.