Search Site
21 Main St, Ste 352 | Hackensack, New Jersey 07601
Call For Consultation 551-245-8894

Why Claims of Racial Discrimination Against Paula Deen Were Dismissed

Celebrity chef Paul Deen has certainly been in the news this summer. As a defendant in a $1.2 million lawsuit filed by a former employee of Deen’s restaurants, Deen was deposed on May 17. During that deposition, Deen admitted that she had used a racial slur in the past. That revelation cost Deen her job at the Food Network (which did not renew Deen’s contract) as well as several lucrative product endorsements.

Lisa Jackson, who was a former manager at two restaurants owned and run by Deen and her family members, filed the lawsuit in federal court. Jackson claimed that Deen and her brother committed numerous acts of racial discrimination, sexual harassment and abuse during the course of Jackson’s five years of employment. According to a CNN report, with regard to racial discrimination Jackson specifically alleged:

  • That a “racially biased attitude prevailed throughout and pervaded defendants restaurant operations”
  • That African-American employees were required to use the restaurant’s rear entrance only
  • That the racist atmosphere caused Jackson “immense personal and work related emotional and physical distress” because “employees came to her to complain and for help, which she felt obligated to give but was unable to fully provide”
  • That Jackson was a victim of racial discrimination because “the conduct denies her right to associate in the workplace with persons of other races,” depriving her of “harmonious working relationships with her African-American subordinates” and denied her “the right to work free from racial harassment”

The judge dismissed Jackson’s claim of racial discrimination for one reason. Jackson’s claims of racial discrimination were allegedly targeted against African-American employees. But because Jackson is white, she cannot claim to be a victim. However Jackson’s claims of abuse and sexual harassment were unaffected by the dismissal of the racial discrimination claim.

If you are a victim of racial discrimination, speak to an experienced attorney to find out your legal rights and remedies.

Neil  H.  Deutsch Attorney Photo
Neil H. Deutsch

Neil H. Deutsch has been practicing law for over 35 years and is known as a skilled negotiator in employment and discrimination law. He believes in a bottom-line approach of risk analysis and cost effectiveness for his clients. "Case evaluation is something we take seriously," says Mr. Deutsch who seeks top net dollar for his…

Bruce  L.  Atkins Attorney Photo
Bruce L. Atkins
Senior Partner

Bruce L. Atkins is the Senior Managing Partner at Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt P.C., a prominent plaintiff employment law firm in the tri-state area. Mr. Atkins believes employees’ rights should be aggressively pursued when they’ve been wrongfully dealt with by their employers. He brings this philosophy to his practice when considering each case and its…

Adam  J.  Kleinfeldt Attorney Photo
Adam J. Kleinfeldt

Adam J. Kleinfeldt joined Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C. in March of 2015.  He primarily represents individuals in employment litigation such as discrimination, retaliation and whistle blowing matters. He has extensive experience in all phases of the litigation process. Adam has obtained significant results for his clients, including a $525,000 jury verdict in a sexual…

Debra M. McGarvey Attorney Photo
Debra M. McGarvey

Debra M. McGarvey joined Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C. in December 2019. She has extensive experience defending employees and employers in state and federal court in employment litigation matters. She has represented clients on various issues arising out of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD), the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA), the…

Carly Skarbnik Meredith Attorney Photo
Carly Skarbnik Meredith

Carly Skarbnik Meredith, Esq. is a Partner at the firm. Carly has focused her career exclusively in the field of employment law. She has a plethora of experience representing both employees and employers with their employment issues, needs, and concerns. She believes representing both employees and employers has made her an extremely well-rounded client advocate.…


Go to the following links for descriptions of selection methodologies for Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review RatingsSuper Lawyers and The National Trial Lawyers Top 100.
No aspect of these advertisements has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

Contact us

Quick Contact Form