Southern celebrity chef Paula Deen and her brother, Bubba Hiers, are being accused of overseeing a workplace environment rife with racism and daily sexual harassment, RadarOnline reports.
Lisa Jackson, a former general manager of Hiers and Deen’s co-owned Bubba’s Oyster and Seafood House in Savannah, Georgia, is alleging in a lawsuit that she was sexually harassed and experienced emotional distress, among other charges. Jackson also alleges that, on several occasions, Deen and Hiers used the N-word.
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In a court document, Jackson describes one occasion when she was assigned all catering duties, including the hiring of servers, for Hier’s 2007 wedding. When Jackson asked Deen what the servers should wear, she says Deen gave the following response:
“Well what I would really like is a bunch of little n***ers to wear long-sleeve white shirts, black shorts and black bow ties, you know in the Shirley Temple days, they used to tap dance around. Now, that would be a true Southern wedding wouldn’t it? But we can’t do that because the media would be on me about that
In another alleged incident, Jackson accuses Hiers of making a racist Obama comment:
“In the presence of Ms. Jackson and Uncle Bubba’s restaurant manager and a vendor, Bubba Hiers stated they should send President Obama to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico so he could n***er-rig it.”
When Jackson was promoted to general manager, she claims that she replaced a man who had been fired for engaging in sexual relations with his servers. During a company meeting, Jackson says Deen made the following comment to those in attendance:
If you think I have worked this hard to lose everything because of a piece of p***y, you better think again, and now I’m going to do something I have never done I am going to put a woman in a man’s job.”
In her new position, Jackson said that she was given a six-month time frame in which to increase the restaurant’s profits-which she claims she did. Jackson claims Bubba made repeated sexual advances towards her. She also says she and Hiers shared an office space where he would routinely watch pornographic films in her presence.
Jackson’s claims the reason she left her employers was because her constant complaints of sexual harassment and other gripes to management constantly fell on deaf ears.
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