Donut Chain Owner Accused of Harassment Says 'Low-Life' Women Who Worked for Him Are Unworthy of Being Groped
A Texas donut shop owner is denying allegations of sexual harassment made against him by three former employees — and he’s defending himself by claiming that they aren’t worthy of being harassed.
The Houston Chronicle reports that Lawrence Shipley III, the owner of donut chain Shipley Do-nuts, has been hit with a lawsuit by three former Hispanic female employees who say he regularly groped them and used derogatory racial slurs to describe them.
In response to the lawsuit, Shipley attacked the three ex-employees personally and said that, even if he were to sexually harass women, they wouldn’t be his targets.
“If I were to become somebody I’m not and stumble over to the dark side, it wouldn’t be with these low lifes,” he said in an email to the Chronicle. “What a baseless, pathetic accusation. That’s my comment.”
The women in the lawsuit claim that Shipley would regularly call them “wetbacks,” and they say that he frequently mocked their accents. The women also allege that he would spank them and stare at their breasts and crotches, while making unwelcome sexual comments about them.
The Chronicle notes that Shipley has been sued over multiple times by employees who allege mistreatment.
“In a 2006 suit filed in Texas’ Southern District, 15 workers said they were ‘forced to endure inhumane and egregious conduct’ at the company’s Houston factory, including having to pay a supervisor to request vacations that were later denied, being forced to work while injured and having a supervisor use their identification to take out loans,” the publication writes.