Emily Houser was 16 when she started working at the Chili’s restaurant in Whitehall, Pennsylvania. Her manager, Josh Davidson, 24 at the time, immediately took interest in her. During the years that followed, Davidson relentlessly pursued Houser, refusing to take no for an answer.
“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,” Houser told Buzzfeed News.
His abuse hit a peak on her 18th birthday, when he showed up at her school and asked her to officially be his girlfriend, in front of a group of students. “I said no, and he replied in a very pompous way, saying he didn’t care if he got fired if we were together, and he didn’t care if he lost his job because he just wanted to be with me.”
In the months that followed, Davidson reportedly switched his focus to another new young Chili’s employee. It was at this point that Houser decided to put in her two weeks notice and report Davidson officially, to prevent another teen girl from suffering his abuse. Considering her report, Chili’s upper management decided to transfer Davidson to a restaurant in another city.
When fellow employees learned of the report and Davidson’s forced transfer, they threw a party in honour of Davidson, complete with a cake that read, “F*ck Emily Houser”. People commented #teamjosh on the Instagram post, which has since been removed. Davidson has been fired from the Chili’s franchise.
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