Emily Houser was just 16 when she started working at the local branch of fast food chain Chili’s in Pennsylvania.
From the moment she began working as a minor, her 24-year-old manager Josh Davidson – who started his job just days after – would pursue her, she says.
He would shower her with gifts, flowers and money, leaving her confused as to what he wanted from her when she unwillingly accepted them.
But the line wasn’t just drawn with gifts. He began to show up to her house in the middle of the night, willing her to date him. By her 18th birthday, things were getting serious, the harassment was getting worse and he began to invade her safe places.
“On my 18th birthday, he showed up to my high school in the parking lot and just kind of rampaged me with gifts and asked me to officially be his girlfriend in front of a bunch of people,” she told Buzzfeed News. “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.”
After this, Houser said, Davidson started “being verbally and even physically weird and abusive towards me at work”.
And so, when Houser saw Davidson go down the path of doing this with other young women, she knew this was a bigger issue than just her discomfort. He would keep doing this, and young women will pay the price. Reporting him to management seemed like the smartest thing to do.
When Davidson was re-located to another restaurant, the saga was far from over for Houser. Instead of her colleagues supporting her, they baked her a cake with icing that read, "F*ck Emily Houser" and mocked her allegations.
"This is what you get when you report a grown man for forcing relations on you and manipulating you as a minor, for over a year and you report it, I guess," she wrote on Facebook alongside an image of the cake.
"My now former manager told my former coworkers about the allegations that were meant to stay private and they threw a 'F*ck Emily Houser' party. The world is a heinous, ugly place."