A restaurant manager and several staff members have been sacked after throwing a party with an obscene cake to mock a teenage waitress who complained of sexual harassment.
Emily Houser, 18, claims she was stalked and harassed for more than two years by 26-year-old Josh Davidson, her boss at a Chili’s restaurant in Whitehall, Pennsylvania.
Davidson would allegedly shower her with gifts, visit her at her high school and even show up at her house in the middle of the night.
“Over a two-year period, it just kind of escalated into him providing me with gifts of significance and money and flowers and cards and things that I wasn’t really accepting of, things that made me extremely uncomfortable because I was not sure what he expected of me from these gifts,” she told BuzzFeed News.
Emily said that the final straw came when the manager turned up at 2.30am to give her a card with $100 inside. She shortly after handed in her notice at the restaurant and reported Davidson for harassment.
Chili’s conducted an investigation but rather than being fired, Davidson was simply moved to another branch in Montgomery, Pennsylvania.
On his last day at the Whitehall diner, colleagues threw him a party to mock Emily, even baking a cake bearing the message “F*ck Emily Houser”.
Staff members posted a picture of the cake on Instagram, with the caption: “Have your cake and eat it too hoe #petty.”
Emily told BuzzFeed that Davidson had been a popular manager and staff likely blamed her for his transfer.
Describing the moment she saw the cake on social media, the teenager said:
I didn’t know how to feel, except I just didn’t really feel anything. And then I just started to cry, because I came to terms with the fact that I did call these people my friends and I have no idea why they were doing this to me.
The staff member’s post and Instagram account has since been taken down, and Chili’s confirmed to BuzzFeed that the employees involved have been fired.
Emily said the outpouring of support she had received over the incident has been “crazy and overwhelming”.
I don’t want any personal gain from this whatsoever. I just want the people that were involved to understand what they are doing, and what they did to someone.