Texans, former director of football ops sued by former employee over sexual harassment claims
HOUSTON – A former Houston Texans employee is suing her former employer for fostering a work environment that was conducive to sexual harassment.
Kristen Grimes claims she was constantly harassed by Jason Lowrey beginning at the time she was hired on May 6, 2013.
At the time of Grimes' hiring, Lowrey was the manager of football operations for the Texans, according to the lawsuit.
Lowrey pursued a relationship with Grimes almost immediately after her hiring, the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit also says that Lowrey's manipulative behavior was well known throughout the Texans organization and that he "treated female employees inappropriately and wrongfully for his own pleasure."
The lawsuit says that in December 2013, Lowrey groped Grimes while in Nashville on a business trip. It says he grabbed her butt in front of other Houston Texans employees and business guests. The lawsuit then says he publicly demeaned her in front of the guests and other employees.
The lawsuit says that in February 2015, Grimes attempted to end her relationship with Lowrey completely.
Below is the profile given for Lowrey on the Texans' team website:
The lawsuit says after her attempts, he openly stalked her at work and made it "uncomfortable, if not impossible for her to perform her job duties."
As Grimes continued to ignore and avoid Lowrey, the lawsuit says he, and other employees of the Texans, began spreading sexual rumors about her.
In 2015, Lowrey and Grimes were in Nashville yet again for business. While at a bar with other Texans employees and guests, the lawsuit says Lowrey publicly accused Grimes of having inappropriate relations with the Texans offensive line players.
Statement from the Houston Texans: pic.twitter.com/XwnAgxZMAy— Texans PR (@TexansPR) February 3, 2018
The lawsuit says Grimes eventually filed a complaint with Texans Human Resources Department. During her conversation with the head of human resources, the lawsuit says she was immediately notified that Lowrey was well known for being a "womanizer" within the organization.
"The actual treatment that she endured was a matter of years," attorney Scott Hunziker said. "And that is why she ultimately went to human resources to discuss it and was told that this person is known to exhibit this type of conduct."
The lawsuit says Lowrey was not reprimanded or disciplined in any way other than making a note of the complaint in his file. Lowrey was promoted to director of football operations during this time, according to the lawsuit.
Grimes began counseling to cope with what was going on at work, the lawsuit reads.
"When she sought the help that you would expect to receive from the organization, she didn't get it," Hunziker said. "It was anything but. They didn't take the disciplinary action that you would think, that you would expect, or that you would hope for. And instead it was a matter of a bad check mark in the file and they moved on. And unfortunately this was something that had been prevalent within that organization with this individual and she should've been protected."
Grimes eventually was "constructively terminated" from her position with the Texans, according to the lawsuit.
Lowrey and the Texans parted ways in January.
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