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World Gym and general manager Rachel Phillips sued for sexual harassment

Three male former personal training employees at World Gym & Fitness Center in Chicago, Illinois filed a sexual harassment against the company and their female boss.

The men claim that general manager Rachel Phillips subjected them to a sexually hostile work environment that consisted of ongoing sexual comments and attempts to convince the men to have sex with her.

According to the complaint:

On approximately August 13, 2012, Defendants hired Botha as a Personal Training Director/Co-Manager at World Gym’s Montrose location.

Throughout Botha’s employment with Defendants, R. Phillips repeatedly rubbed Botha’s shoulders and arms without his consent.

Throughout Botha’s employment with Defendants, R. Phillips repeatedly discussed her sex life. In doing so, R. Phillips complained that she was not having sex and that her husband engaged in adultery.

In response to R. Phillips’s aforesaid vulgar and offensive statement, Botha shook his head in disapproval.

Throughout Botha’s employment with Defendants, R. Phillips repeatedly made remarks about her past sexual relationships and her experience dating African American men.

In one instance, R. Phillips stated to Botha that African American men “have big cocks” and that “from seeing your package through your pants, I can tell you’re from Africa.” Botha is originally from South Africa.

Throughout Botha’s employment with Defendants, R. Phillips repeatedly asked Botha to have drinks with her. Botha repeatedly rejected R. Phillips requests, stating that he does not enjoy drinking.

On two occasions after Botha rejected R. Phillips’s requests to have drinks, R. Phillips stated, “You can stay at my place” and “You can sleep in my basement. No one uses it, but I can’t promise I won’t crawl in bed with you.”

Throughout Botha’s employment with Defendants, Botha informed R. Phillips that her behavior was unwelcome and offensive.

Throughout Botha’s employment with Defendants, Botha informed R. Phillips that her behavior was disruptive to running World Gym successfully.

Throughout Botha’s employment with Defendants, R. Phillips referred to Barbara Phillips (“B. Phillips”), coworker and R. Phillips’s mother, as a “cunt.”

Throughout Botha’s employment with Defendants, R. Phillips made repeated comments to Botha regarding coworker Karl Petty (“Petty”), stating that Petty has a “round” and “black” buttocks.

Throughout Botha’s employment with Defendants, R. Phillips made repeated comments to Botha regarding coworker Brian Kravkar (“Kravkar”), stating “I’d get a piece of that.”

R. Phillips smirked as she made these comments.

Throughout Botha’s employment with Defendants, R. Phillips made repeated comments to Botha regarding coworker William Bolster (“Bolster”), stating that Bolster was “fucking hot.”

In approximately mid-August 2012, R. Phillips grabbed Botha’s buttocks as he walked out of the office.

In response to R. Phillips’s offensive and unwelcome touching, Botha stated that such behavior was unwelcome, offensive, and that R. Phillips needs to understand her boundaries.

In approximately mid-August 2012, R. Phillips placed her hand on Botha’s thigh.

In response to R. Phillips’s offensive and unwelcome touching, Botha immediately removed R. Phillips’s hand from his thigh.

R. Phillips laughed at the fact that her conduct made him uncomfortable.

In approximately late-August 2012, R. Phillips again placed her hand on Botha’s upper thigh during a meeting at work.

In response to R. Phillips’s offensive and unwelcome touching, Botha immediately removed her hand from his thigh and stated that such conduct was offensive and unwelcome.

In response to Botha’s complaint, R. Phillips stated, “Oh, just relax.”

Beginning in approximately late August 2012 and continuing throughout Botha’s employment with Defendants, R. Phillips repeatedly asked Botha to have drinks with her

Botha repeatedly rejected R. Phillips requests to have drinks with her. Botha further informed R. Phillips that he was not interested in social engagements with her.

In approximately late August 2012, while R. Phillips was at home, she contacted Botha at the office. R. Phillips requested that Botha come to her home to look at new health supplements to sell at World Gym.

Botha felt uncomfortable going to R. Phillips’s home by himself, so he requested Petty to go with him.

When Botha and Petty arrived at R. Phillips’s home, R. Phillips answered the door wearing only a towel.

R. Phillips was upset that Botha brought Petty to this meeting, stating “I didn’t know you were bringing Karl!”

Upon examining the “new” health supplements that R. Phillips used as a lure to bring Botha to her home, it was readily apparent that World Gym already sold the supplements in question.

In approximately early September 2012, Jason Phillips (“J. Phillips”), an employee of World Gym and R. Phillips’s brother, stated to Botha, “Rachel’s boys don’t stay here too long. Rachel hires these guys, chews them, and then spits them out.”

In approximately early September 2012, J. Phillips told Botha that R. Phillips is a “slut.”

In approximately early September 2012, J. Phillips stated that R. Phillips used to send sexual text messages to another employee of World Gym.

When the other employee informed R. Phillips of his lack of interest in a relationship with her, R. Phillips terminated him.

On approximately September 4, 2012, Defendants hired Ridings as a Personal Trainer.

Defendants hired Ridings to work at World Gym’s Pilsen location.

In approximately September 2012, R. Phillips stated to Botha, “I hired all these good looking guys. I don’t know what to do with myself. I’d fuck them all.”

In approximately September 2012, R. Phillips asked Botha if he would be upset if R. Phillips “fucked” one of the newly hired World Gym employees

In approximately late September 2012, Botha and R. Phillips were required to travel to another worksite for World Gym for business purposes. R. Phillips drove during this trip and stopped to make a purchase at Macy’s on the way.

While at Macy’s when Botha and R. Phillips were supposed to be traveling for business, R. Phillips tried on a pair of boots and asked Botha, “Would you fuck me if I wore them?”

Botha did not verbally respond to R. Phillips’s offensive question, and Botha shook his head in disapproval.

While at Macy’s when Botha and R. Phillips were supposed to be traveling for business, R. Phillips further stated to Botha, “If I wore these boots while out with you, I’d wrap my legs around your neck.”

Botha stated to R. Phillips that her statements were unwelcome and offensive.

In response to Botha’s complaint, R. Phillips further stated to Botha that she could arrange for a “threesome” in which Botha could participate.

In approximately October 2012, Morgan Phillips (“M. Phillips”), coworker and R. Phillips’s sister, stated to Botha, “When will you screw my sister? Get on with it already.”

In approximately October 2012, M. Phillips stated to Botha, “Do you want it to be a double package? We can both wear heels.”

In response to M. Phillips’s unwelcome and offensive statements, Botha shook his head and left the office.

Upon leaving the office, Botha heard M. Phillips call him “insecure.”

In approximately mid October 2012, R. Phillips stated to Botha, “You could probably file for sexual harassment, but you wouldn’t do that. You’re not that kind of guy.”

In approximately mid-October 2012, Rob Rodriguez (“Rodriguez”), coworker at World Gym, stated to Botha and Ridings that R. Phillips will attempt to engage in a sexual relationship with Botha Ridings and, if they express their disinterest in such a relationship, R. Phillips will terminate their employment with World Gym and attempt to engage in a sexual relationship with another World Gym employee.

Rodriguez further stated that he had witnessed R. Phillips engage in this cycle of behavior numerous times.

Beginning in mid-October 2012 and continuing throughout LaCombe’s employment with Defendants, R. Phillips grabbed LaCombe’s buttocks.

In approximately October 2012, LaCombe complained to Botha regarding R.

Phillips’s offensive and unwelcome language and behavior. Botha responding to LaCombe by stating that he too had experienced unwelcome and offensive language and behavior from R. Phillips.

Beginning in approximately October 2012 and continuing throughout Ridings’s employment with Defendants, R. Phillips stated to Ridings, “I’m not getting fucked enough” and “I need a guy to fuck me real good.”

Throughout Botha’s employment with Defendants, Botha informed Al Phillips (“A. Phillips”), R. Phillip’s father and president of World Gym, of R. Phillips’s unwelcome and offensive conduct and statements toward Plaintiffs.

Botha informed A. Phillips of R. Phillips’s unwelcome and offensive conduct toward Plaintiffs on a weekly basis.

Each time Botha informed A. Phillips of R. Phillips’s unwelcome and offensive behavior, A. Phillips dismissed Botha’s complaints and stated, “What are these guys, gay?”

Throughout Botha’s employment with Defendants, A. Phillips stated to Botha, “If you don’t make the company work, I will make you disappear.”

Throughout Botha’s employment with Defendants, A. Phillips carried a handgun in his pocket.

In approximately October 2012, A. Phillips brought a rifle to the workplace and asked Botha if he should use it on the sales team

On approximately October 18, 2012, R. Phillips stated to Ridings, “Those pants are pretty tight. I can see your dick through your pants.”

On approximately October 19, 2012, R. Phillips touched Ridings’s stomach and grabbed his penis without his consent.

On approximately October 19, 2012, Ridings informed R. Phillips that such nonconsensual touching was unwelcome and offensive.

In approximately October 2012, R. Phillips invited several members of World Gym’s personal training staff, including Plaintiffs, to a Chicago Bears game.

On approximately October 23, 2012, Defendants terminated Botha’s employment.

On approximately October 23, 2012, Defendants terminated Ridings’s employment.

On approximately November 29, 2012, R. Phillips sent a text message to LaCombe, wherein R. Phillips was only wearing a bra and underwear. In the text message, R. Phillips asked LaCombe what he thought of the picture.

In approximately November 2012, R. Phillips stated to LaCombe, “What would you do if I grabbed your dick?”

In response to R. Phillips’s unwelcome and offensive question, LaCombe stated that he would push her hand away and tell R. Phillips to stop.

In response to LaCombe’s response to R. Phillips’s question, R. Phillips stated that LaCombe was homosexual. R. Phillips further informed World Gym employees of this conversation with LaCombe.

In approximately November 2012, R. Phillips stated to LaCombe, “Whenever you’re ready for a good sex life, let me know.”

In approximately November 2012, R. Phillips stated to LaCombe, “I would do nasty things with you,” referring to sexual acts.

In approximately November 2012, in LaCombe’s presence, R. Phillips stated to Romanelli, “I was telling Mike [LaCombe] he’s never had a good blow job. That’s why he prefers sex over oral sex.”

In approximately November 2012, in LaCombe’s presence, R. Phillips stated to Romanelli, “When you’re getting fucked by a guy, you need to know how to please him the right way and get off and suck his dick in between.”

In approximately November 2012, LaCombe complained to R. Phillips about her aforesaid comments to Romanelli.

In response to LaCombe’s aforesaid complaint, Cassandra Romanelli, who was present for LaCombe’s complaint, stated, “Well, you know how to fix it. You just have to fuck her.”

In approximately November 2012, M. Phillips stated to LaCombe, “You’re single. My sister’s single. She wants to fuck. I’m sure you do, so what’s the problem?”

LaCombe responded to M. Phillips by stating, “I’m not going to play with fire. She’s my boss.”

On approximately December 10, 2012, LaCombe complained to Yusenia Aria, World Gym’s Operations Manager, regarding LaCombe not having received his rightful commission.

On approximately December 11, 2012, Defendants terminated LaCombe’s employment.

R. Phillips was not disciplined for her aforesaid behavior against Plaintiffs, despite numerous complaints regarding her unwelcome and offensive behavior.

World Gym and general manager Rachel Phillips sued for sexual harassment
3 votes, 5.00 avg. rating (98% score)

Reader Feedback

3 Responses to “World Gym and general manager Rachel Phillips sued for sexual harassment”

  1. Anonymous says:

    This does not surprise me one bit. She is rude arrogant and seems to always act as if she is entitled. The whole family does.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I am a member and watched all of this unfold. Unfortunately, she acted out in this way to many others before and after these guys worked there. Her and her family is getting everything they deserve.

  3. Anonymous says:

    She is a clown, and so is her father Al and the son Jason. Al needs someone to knock out his fucking teeth on the curb and beat him over the head with his pistol. He is nothing but a punk, and his punk son Jason is a fucking complete piece of shit. Al phillips ran Bally total fitness into the ground years ago, and his son Jason ran World further into the ground….. This family gives the fitness industry a bad name. I hope their business fails and they go away forever

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