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Paula Deen’s reputation affected by employment litigation

Building a business and a brand can be extremely fulfilling for an entrepreneur. In Miami and across the United States, a great idea, an engaging personality, hard work, and a little luck can create a recipe for success. Becoming a well-known and financially successful employer, however, can create problems of its own. There are employees who may be tempted to file commercial litigation or an employment discrimination lawsuit in hopes of obtaining a monetary windfall.

Paula Deen, a celebrity chef and restaurant owner, is currently under fire for admitting that twenty years ago she used a racial slur. After becoming famous for her boisterous personality and southern-style recipes on the Food Network, Deen opened several restaurants to capitalize on her brand. Deen’s admission comes after a former manager at one of the restaurants filed employment litigation against Deen and her brother, a co-owner of the restaurant in the lawsuit. The woman claims that she was a victim of racial discrimination and sexual harassment.

As Deen has learned, employment discrimination lawsuits can have serious repercussions. Deen and her supporters argue that words used over two decades ago have no bearing on the current litigation or Deen’s business practices. That being said, Deen’s reputation and relationships with business partners have been severely damaged, and her brand may be irreparably tarnished.

Deen’s experience shows that discrimination litigation must be taken seriously. When an employer is sued, it is important to work closely with legal counsel. An experienced attorney can help to determine the best defense strategy in order to minimize any negative effect of the litigation on business operations. 

Source: Huffington Post,” Al Sharpton Speaks Out On Paula Deen: Many 'Have In The Past Said Things We Have Regretted' Cavan Sieczkowski, June 06/24/2013

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