March 7th, 2012 by faye
The Food Network star Paula Deen and her restaurant co-owner brother, Bubba Hiers, are the subject of a lawsuit filed by their former restaurant employee who claims she was a victim of sexual harassment.
According to Lisa Jackson, a former general manager at the duo’s Uncle Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House in Savannah, she was subjected to a number of indecent incidents over a period of five years while working at the restaurant of Paula Deen and Bubba Hiers. Jackson claims she quit in August 2010, alleging that she left under the advisement of her physician because of panic attacks and other stress-related health conditions she suffered while working at the Southern restaurant.
The lawsuit alleges that Bubba Hiers repeatedly made sexually inappropriate comments to Lisa Jackson, that he brought “inescapable pornography” to the workplace all the time, distributed inappropriate pictures at work to employees and that he watched pornography in the office Jackson shared with him. Lisa Jackson also claims that Bubba Hiers allegedly asked her to bring photos of herself when she was younger, even telling her, “You have nice legs.” Additionally, Hiers told Lisa two women at the restaurant were “fat girls” and should not be wearing capri pants or skirts.
Some other allegations in the lawsuit against Paula Deen and Bubba Hiers include Hiers telling another female employee who had just received dentures, “I bet your husband is going to like that,” and a joke Bubba Hiers told the staff that described why men should have sex with women who had flat heads … “because you can sit your beer on top of her head while she is giving you a b**w job.”
Lisa Jackson, who was purportedly given six months to turn the alleged “failing” restaurant around when she was promoted to the position back in 2005, said the behavior of Paula Deen was no better. Jackson claims Paula Deen told her, “Now I’m going to do something I’ve never done. I’m going to put a woman in a man’s job,” when Lisa Jackson first took the position.
Moreover, Jackson is also accusing Paula Deen and Bubba Hiers of racism in the lawsuit, claiming they both made racist comments about the restaurant’s African-American employees and required them to use a restroom in the back of the restaurant.
Lisa Jackson is seeking unspecified damages in the case.