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Former Krispy Kreme Workers Sue Company

Ruby de Luna
05/20/2003

Krispy Kreme opens a new store in North Seattle today (TUES). But the doughnut company is under fire for sexual harassment and discrimination. In a lawsuit filed yesterday, five former employees say their supervisors harassed them. And when they complained to managers, they were fired. We get more from KUOW's Ruby de Luna.

THE PICTURE DESCRIBED BY THE FORMER WORKERS TOLD A STORY OF SUPERVISORS WHO ABUSED THEIR POWER. ATTORNEY MARK SHEPHERD WHO REPRESENTS THE EMPLOYEES SAYS THE CONSTANT HARRASSMENT CREATED A HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT... This was fairly rampant in some of the facilities, including the Issaquah facility, and it's not really surprising because managers there participated in this unlawful and deplorable behavior. It included sexual comments, touching of the female workers, leering. In fact one of the managers pressured subordinates for sexual favors. SHEPHERD SAYS MOST OF KRISPY KREME'S WORKERS ARE IMMIGRANTS WHO CAN BE VULNERABLE. ONE WOMAN IDENTIFIED AS JANE DOE, IS AN UNDOCUMENTED WORKER. AT FIRST SHE REFUSED TO COMPLY WITH THE MANAGER'S DEMANDS. SPEAKING THROUGH A TRANSLATOR, JANE DOE SAYS SHE EVENTUALLY GAVE IN BECAUSE SHE NEEDED TO KEEP HER JOB TO SUPPORT HER CHILDREN IN MEXICO... He was very, very angry and he said if you don't what I tell you, you will not have a job. ANOTHER WORKER COMPLAINED ABOUT THE SAME MANAGER EXPOSING HIMSELF TO HER. BUT WHEN SHE REPORTED THE INCIDENT TO OTHER MANAGERS, NOTHING HAPPENED. MANY OF THE WORKERS TURNED TO VICKY RYSTAD, A FORMER SUPERVISOR AT THE ISSQUAH STORE.,. Rystad: I confronted the managers. Reporter: What did they say? Rystad: Just don't tell anybody. KREME WORKS, WHICH OPERATES KRISPY KREME STORES IN WASHINGTON, WON'T COMMENT ON THE ALLEGATIONS. A SPOKESPERSON SAYS THE COMPANY IS REVIEWING THE MATTER AND WILL TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTION TO RESOLVE IT. I'M RUBY DE LUNA, KUOW NEWS.
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