In her statement of claim she describes the workplace of my youth, a place where a woman could be groped and harassed in full view of others with no action taken. David Jones is defending the action and it is believed they will claim that there have been no previous, formal harassment claims against McInnes and the board was not aware of any misconduct.
But the culture that Fraser-Kirk describes certainly should have raised alarm bells across the company, especially one that prides itself on its "female" brand.
Fraser-Kirk, who was working as DJ's publicity coordinator, describes in her statement of claim that the groping began at a lunch in May this year to celebrate the renewal of a contract between Gai Waterhouse and David Jones. She says McInnes urged her to try a dessert because it was "like a f*** in the mouth". He then allegedly placed his hand under her clothing at the point where it touched her bra strap and asked her to go to his home in Bondi, with the clear implication that the purpose of the visit would be for sex.
He then gave her a hug that lifted her off her feet while asking her again to come to Bondi.
Fraser-Kirk, who is 27, says she tried banter to distract him, made no response to the invitation to go to Bondi and rapidly moved away from the airlift hug.
She then claims she reported his behaviour to her superiors on the same day and that they both saw what happened. She was told that "next time it happens just say no to Mark and he'll back off". But apparently no action was taken.
McInnes then sent Fraser-Kirk two text messages which she claims repeated his unwelcome sexual advances by suggesting she meet him at his home in Bondi. Both messages were sent just after 3pm.
By the next week, Fraser-Kirk says she advised her immediate supervisor Tahli Koch that she didn't want to attend a work function because of the continuing and unwelcome sexual conduct of McInnes.
But a week later she did attend a function where McInnes was present and the advances continued. She alleges that McInnes attempted to kiss her on the mouth and put his hand around her waist. And then again tried to kiss her on the mouth while placing his hand on her stomach before moving his hand to the bottom of her bra. Again he asked her to go to Bondi and allegedly followed up the next day by ringing her and texting her.
She claims she went to her general manager of PR and told her there had been other employees harassed by McInnes in the past. Fraser Kirk then alleges she was sent home but then asked to attend a meeting with McInnes. That night McInnes sent her a text saying: "I want you to have a fantastic career at David Jones."
She then went to her lawyer and is now suing for $37 million. She claims other women have also been harassed and yesterday fronted the TV news with her parents in tow and urges other women to report similar incidences via a hotline.
And that is where the difference lies. When I started in the workforce in the late-1980s, groping was common. We had all sorts of ways to deal with the gropers. I usually gave them a good whack and told them to "f*** off!", which often did the trick. I also threatened them with action, demanded they remove pornography from their computers and posters of naked women from the walls, and encouraged other women to fight back.
You weren't completely alone back then. Your immediate boss might help by warning you to stay clear of a particular colleague after he's had a few drinks. And your workmates also pitched in, warning you that the said colleague was now on the way back to the office from the pub.
You also had help from very senior levels. I remember being told by the CFO of a major listed company that I had to be accompanied by another woman when I went in to interview the chairman and I was not to be left on my own for a moment. I was to wear trousers and sit on the chair in the corner, not on the couch. Otherwise the chairman would look up my skirt. And on no account was I to accept any offer of a future meeting.
But sue? Go to a lawyer? I might threaten to do it, but it never occurred to me because I knew that nothing would be done about it. And that is what has changed. The community no longer tolerates this type of behaviour. And workplaces where it is accepted as part of the culture are the exception, not the norm.
I also suspect we have a generation of Gen Y women coming through who have grown up feeling that they can control their environment and not only do they have the right to say no, but they won't think twice about taking action.
If I am right, we can expect more big US-type claims like this and we can expect some big payouts if the company has not taken appropriate action when the matters are reported.
And that might finally drive the message home to the minority of men who are still behaving badly.