It all started with a lawsuit. A former employee, Lisa Jackson, is suing because of racial harassment and a hostile work environment, including an accusation of making racist remarks about the restaurant's African-American employees. Paula's defense team has since said that Lisa has no grounds to be offended, because she's white.
Paula's team is now using the Supreme Court's historic ruling of striking down Prop 8 to enhance her own case, and this is how she's doing it: they're citing Chief Justice John Roberts on the Hollingsworth vs. Perry Prop 8 case, where he says that if someone wants grounds to sue, they must prove they have "suffered a concrete and particularized injury that is fairly traceable to the challenged conduct."
Here's how Paula's camp is trying to spin that, according to new docs:
"In other words, for a federal court to have authority under the Constitution to settle a dispute, the party before it must seek a remedy for a personal and tangible harm."
So because Jackson is white, Paula's lawyers think that she can't sue because she herself didn't suffer personally or directly from race discrimination. Why can't watching awful things like that go down, and having to work under bosses like that, count as being personally affected — even if the racist and hateful terms aren't rooted in your own history, but your compassion for others?
Lisa has responded to all of this, and has this to say:
“This lawsuit has never been about the N-word. It is to address Ms. Deen’s patterns of disrespect and degradation of people that she deems to be inferior.
“I may be a white woman, but I could no longer tolerate her abuse of power as a business owner, nor her condonation of Mr. Hier’s despicable behavior on a day-to-day basis. I am what I am, and I am a human being that cares about all races, and that is why I feel it is important to be the voice for those who are too afraid to use theirs.”
We just hope it's true that she's standing up for people, rather than just seizing an opportunity to cash in. We can certainly see where some folks might be skeptical because of her race.
Do U guys think she still has a case??
[Image via Carrie Devorah/WENN.]