Ex-employee wins $175K in sexual harassment settlement from jeweler

Ex-employee wins $175K in sexual harassment settlement from jeweler

A bombshell sexual harassment case has revealed creepy, unsolicited comments a Sydney jeweler dished out to a female staff member.

In texts revealed in court, 45-year-old Simon Grew commented on her appearance, asked her out repeatedly and at one point slapped her on the bottom.

Federal Court Justice Anna Katzmann awarded Fiona Taylor, 35, $172,018.23 USD in damages – a record under the Sex Discrimination Act – after finding she was harassed by Grew, the owner of Grew & Co, and was victimized after filing a complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission.

The judgement found Grew harassed Taylor when he “slapped her on the bottom” in 2019 and twice confessed his feelings for her in 2020.


Simon Grew
In texts revealed in court, 45-year-old Simon Grew commented on his former employee’s appearance, asked her out repeatedly and at one point slapped her on the bottom.
YouTube/KochiesBiz

Excitement turns to horror

Taylor started working at the boutique jeweler in January 2018 and according to the judgement was initially “excited”, considering the culture “friendly and welcoming”.

She explained she felt she “finally” had a boss who recognised her talents and championed them.

While Taylor was quickly promoted, it went awry after Mr Grew confessed he had feelings for her in January 2020.

“I’ve developed feelings for you,” she alleged he told her. “I can’t hold it inside any longer…..I think you’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen. We get along so well, we like the same things. My – my children don’t need a mother, they need a friend …”

Grew made the comments despite knowing Ms Taylor was in a relationship.

She repeatedly told him she wasn’t interested, including in a text exchange three weeks later, where she wrote she wanted to “put down some boundaries and “keep things work related between us”.

However, she claimed Grew continued to pursue her, reiterating his feelings in June 2020 when driving her home.


A grab of Simon Grew during an interview about his company.
Federal Court Justice Anna Katzmann awarded Fiona Taylor, 35, $172,018.23 USD in damages.
YouTube/KochiesBiz

Unsolicited gifts

During her time at the jeweler, Taylor alleged her boss gifted her numerous unsolicited items – 19 in fact – including a quilted black Chanel coin purse, a Michael Kors bomber jacket and jewelery, some pieces worth thousands of dollars.

At one point, Taylor testified that Grew closed the door in their shared office and asked her to try the jacket on in front of him, something he disputed.

When “he saw that it was a bit fitted” he “suggested that we go up a size” and she “awkwardly said yes”.

Inappropriate comments

It was Grew’s text messages and comments over a prolonged period of time that highlighted his inappropriate behaviour.

Taylor said Grew made statements to the effect of “I like petite curvy brunettes”; “You have a really nice body”; “You have a beautiful body”; and “You have bedroom eyes.”

In text messages he told her: “There’s soooooo much good in you!” and “You’re not just enough, you are actually 100 per cent perfect.”

In another he commented: “Even your ‘flaws’ are perfect” and “Not sure if I mentioned how amazing you look today but if I did its worth bringing up against have a great weekend.”

The judgement found Taylor became anxious, withdrawn and now has difficulty sleeping due to what happened.

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