DUNKIN’ DONUTS Accused of Franchise Discrimination Against Indian American Woman
August 19, 2012
(UnhappyFranchisee.com) DUNKIN’ DONUTS Accused of Franchise Discrimination Against Indian American Woman
A lawsuit expected to be filed Monday, August 20, 2012 by Marks & Klein, LLP of Red Bank, NJ alleges that Dunkin’ Donuts engages in discriminatory franchise practices that deprive both African-American and female Indian American franchisees the economically advantageous opportunities afforded to white male franchisees.
In the Amended Complaint and Jury Demand titled Priti Shetty, Amy Pretto, and Reggie Pretto, Plaintiffs, vs. Dunkin Donuts Franchised Restaurants, LLC, a Delaware Limited Liability Company, Baskin-Robbins Franchised Shops, LLC, a Delaware Limited Liability Company and Wayne Miller, individually, Defendants to be filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Middlesex County, Marks & Klein contends that a female Indian American franchisee named Priti Shetty was berated, insulted and denied a third store because of her race and gender.
(For the allegations regarding Dunkin’ Donuts discrimination against the African American plaintiffs, read DUNKIN’ DONUTS Accused of Franchise Discrimination Against African Americans and DUNKIN’ DONUTS: SCLC Accuses Dunkin’ Donuts of Racial Discrimination Against Franchisees)
Suit Alleges Dunkin’ Donuts discriminated against the only female Indian multi-unit franchisee they had in NY, NJ, CT or RI
The lawsuit contends that Priti Shetty and two male partners were granted a three unit franchise deal. When Ms. Shetty became the sole operating partner, the suit alleges that Dunkin’ Donuts refused to grant her the rights to a third location.
The following excerpt from the lawsuit provides an overview of the deiscrimination allegations:
Despite operating two profitable locations, Priti Shetty’s request to open a third location in Stockholm, New Jersey was unreasonably rejected after she told Dunkin she would be solely responsible of operating the store.
The flimsy excuse used by Dunkin for its refusal to approve the third location was that the store would not be able to service customers without a drive-thru window.
The same Stockholm location, however, was eventually sold to a (white) male, and to date operates without a drive thru window.
The discriminatory nature of this refusal is further reinforced by the fact that Priti Shetty was regularly subjected to harassment and unfair treatment (as previously described above) at her other two Dunkin locations by her Operational Manager Wayne Miller and other Dunkin managers who regularly berated Priti (and her female Indian employees) and threatened to fail Priti’s stores on inspections without cause and repeatedly told Priti because she was an Indian woman, she was not able to run a Dunkin location.
Dunkin also refused to let her re-open the two franchised stores that failed after nine months of operation by a white operator – after she had successfully operated the locations for five years – because she is an Indian American female.
Dunkin’s unreasonable refusal to let Priti Shetty re-open the Wantage and Oak Ridge stores has resulted in her being sued for rent by the two separate landlords of those premises…
Defendants knowingly refused to do business with Plaintiff Shetty based upon her race, national origin, color and sex by (i) consistently permitting its agent to make derogatory, harassing and threatening statements to Plaintiff Shetty and advising her that females were incapable of competently operating Dunkin stores and (ii) refusing to permit her to open a third Dunkin location in Stockholm, New Jersey without cause or justification and subsequently permitting a male franchisee to open in the same location…
The lawsuit also alleges that Dunkin’ Donuts discriminated against an African American couple, and that Dunkin steers its few African American franchisees to troubled and lower potential ethnic neighborhoods and reserves socioeconomically advantageous markets for non-minority franchisees.
Read the entire complaint here:
Also Read: BASKIN-ROBBINS Franchise Complaints
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