Seriously? Did you think I was going to leave this alone?
Hat tip to Victor Fiorello of Philadelphia Magazine!
Philadelphia Magazine: Main Line Woman Says She Was Sexually Harassed at Merion Cricket Club
by VICTOR FIORILLO·
The Merion Cricket Club is a gated private social club along Montgomery Avenue in the Haverford section of the Main Line. There, the well-heeled and impeccably coiffed go to mix, mingle and play tennis. The club has been around in one form or another since 1865 and describes itself as “family oriented.” But according to one Main Line woman’s allegations, what was going on behind the scenes at Merion Cricket Club wasn’t exactly family-friendly.
Twenty-four-year-old Wynnewood resident Maura Owens began working as a server at Merion Cricket Club’s restaurant in 2018. According to a lawsuit Owens just filed in Philadelphia’s federal court, a man named Kyle Ross became her direct supervisor in June 2019 when he was named assistant food and beverage manager of Merion Cricket Club. Owens alleges that immediately after Ross took on that role, he told her he was physically attracted to her. She says she told him she wasn’t interested but that he persisted and made repeated unwanted sexual advances.
According to the allegations in her suit, Ross frequently told Owens that he was sexually aroused and once specifically said that he had an erection. She goes on to allege that Ross once tried to touch her breasts through her shirt and that she had to push his hand away. She says he continued his harassment and that her refusals led to more sexual harassment, “hostile behavior,” and threats to her job for close to two years.Owens says that after she complained to another woman who worked there about Ross, Ross came to her and screamed at her. Later, in July 2021, Owens complained to management about Ross, and according to the suit, the manager told her that he’d have a follow-up meeting with her in one week. Ross says the manager in question did nothing to separate her from Ross in the interim.
When the week was up, Owens claims, the manager she reported Ross to told her that Ross hadn’t harassed her, allegedly explaining that “it isn’t harassment if he likes you.” After that conversation, Owens says, she felt “unsafe and unprotected,” and she resigned….The lawsuit accuses Merion Cricket Club of sexual harassment and retaliation and seeks unspecified damages. Despite multiple attempts, we were unable to reach Merion Cricket Club or Ross for comment.
Well gosh! I haven’t been so tickled since that blue blood and not so blue blood cat fight in the ballroom at the Christmas Ball years ago! (Yes, that did happen.)
There is nothing more ick as a woman than a touchy feely male co-worker. Even worse if said male is in a supervisory situation.
How many of you ladies out there have experienced the touchy feelies of it all in the work place? I did years ago. (It was circa late 1980’s as in when Working Girl with Harrison Ford and Melanie Griffith came out.) Fortunately it was a “please do not do that again” and it never happened again in my personal experience. Way before Y2K in the financial services industry. It was a regular occurrence in that industry back then in my opinion. I remember one place where a friend worked that female employees (no matter if they were professional or support staff) were told on the down low to stay out of the copy room if a certain handsy male employee was present.
What I observed over the years was problem men really weren’t dealt with. The women learned to support each other. At least in my former industry…..If you complained it was no bueno and we will leave it at that. Definitely a perverse form of don’t ask/don’t tell.
It is REALLY hard for a woman to come forward in ANY industry and accuse a co-worker of sexual harassment. Soo…to hear this…good for this woman. Because NO woman is going to come forward and file a Federal Lawsuit if there is nothing to this. That is my opinion, of course, but litigation is expensive. And she is willing to put it on the line.
It is unlawful to harass a person (an applicant or employee) because of that person’s sex. Harassment can include “sexual harassment” or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.
Harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature, however, and can include offensive remarks about a person’s sex. For example, it is illegal to harass a woman by making offensive comments about women in general.
Both victim and the harasser can be either a woman or a man, and the victim and harasser can be the same sex.
Although the law doesn’t prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted).The harasser can be the victim’s supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer.
Seems pretty straight forward, doesn’t it? But if he LIKES you it isn’t HARASSMENT, right?
Here is the filing:
Did a little social media noodling. Merion Cricket is not so good at scrubbing their social media. Hard to say if guy accused still is employed by Merion Cricket, but still floored, yes floored that this is well THIS. And THERE. One would hope that an esteemed club like Merion Cricket at least used to be would have properly TRAINED employees so that they KNEW what sexual harassment was? I wonder if anyone has asked what the reporting procedure is? And if reported who OFF of staff is told or knows?
Sexual harassment is a brutal thing for any woman to take to court and she runs the risk of being re-victimized. That being said whomever Maura Owens is, she is BRAVE. I hope if there are other victims, even from within the ranks of membership, come forward. Sadly, they will go all Main Line here, probably.
Main Line #MeToo Drama here we come. Merion Cricket will you have clean hands at the end of the day here? Time will tell.