Login

 

Lost your password?

 

The Practical Employer

The Next Nominee for Worst Employer of 2017 is … the Chili’s Cake Boss

If you enable a workplace culture that permits this level of harassment (especially of teenage employees), you might be the worst employer of 2017.

As we wind down the year toward voting to name our first “Worst Employer of the Year,” I thought I had all bases covered. Then I read this story on Buzzfeed:

This Teen Says Her Chili’s Manager Sexually Harassed Her, and Her Coworkers Threw a Party to Shame Her

As the story goes, Emily Houser (age 18) claimed that John Davidson (age 26) spent the prior two years sexually harassing her at the Chili’s at which she worked and he managed.

The harassment included forced dates, unannounced drop-ins at her house, and gifts of flowers and cards. It culminated on her 18th birthday, when Houser says that Davidson showed up at her school and professed his love for her. When she rejected him, he redoubled his efforts, even becoming “verbally and even physically weird.” When Davidson started to pray on another teen employee, Houser decided it was time to blow the whistle (along with giving Chili’s her two-week notice).

According to Buzzfeed, Chili’s conducted an investigation, and, instead of firing Davidson, relocated him to another restaurant.

On Davidson’s last day of work prior to his transfer, his employees threw him a “F**k Emily Houser” party, complete with this cake (posted by one of the employees on Instagram).

Image via Buzzfeed

Following the cake, Chili’s reported to Buzzfeed that it changed its mind and fired Davidson (and transferred most of the other involved employees).

Houser, however, was quick to point out to Chili’s (via Twitter) that it never responded to her after her complaint, and only responded to Buzzfeed after the story went public.

You replied to Buzzfeed on twitter but never returned any phone calls I placed directly after the incident…. https://twitter.com/chilis/status/849674691220582400 

If you enable a workplace culture that permits this level of harassment (especially of teenage employees), you might be the worst employer of 2017.

Jon Hyman is a partner at Meyers, Roman, Friedberg & Lewis in Cleveland. Comment below or email editors@workforce.com. Follow Hyman’s blog at Workforce.com/PracticalEmployer.