(UnhappyFranchisee.com) DUNKIN’ DONUTS Accused of Franchise Discrimination Against African Americans
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 African-American and female Indian American franchisees the economically advantageous opportunities afforded to their non-African American 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 of the over 6,990 Dunkin/Baskin Robbins franchises, less than fifty (50) are owned by African Americans.
The lawsuit contends that the few African American multi-unit franchisees that do exist were overwhelmingly steered to economically disadvantaged minority areas, while Dunkin Donuts reserved the economically better areas for white franchisees.
African American franchisees Amy & Reggie Pretto went bankrupt due to Dunkin’ Deception, suit alleges.
The lawsuit alleges that Dunkin’ Donuts engaged in “a systematic course of discriminatory business practices and a scheme against Amy and Reggie Pretto because they are African Americans and Priti Shetty, because she is an Indian American female, in violation of 42 U.S.C. 1981.”
[Read more about the allegations regarding Indian American women here: DUNKIN’ DONUTS Accused of Franchise Discrimination Against Indian American Women]
This excerpt gives an overview of the allegations regarding Dunkin’ Donuts franchise discrimination against African American couple Amy & Reggie Pretto:
Specifically, Dunkin racially “steers” African American franchisees away from higher socioeconomic and predominantly “white” areas, into lower socioeconomic primarily minority-populated areas.
Similarly, the Prettos were desirous of developing Dunkin locations in the Greater New York region.
The Prettos were falsely told that no SDAs were available in the New York/New Jersey region and instead were steered to minority areas outside New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
At first they were steered to a minority area of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania which they rejected.
Then the Prettos were steered by Dunkin to Washington, D.C., which they also rejected.
Dunkin then steered the Prettos to an economically disadvantaged minority area in Baltimore, Maryland which they rejected.
Finally, they were steered to Bowie, Maryland, also an African American minority area, which they accepted because of the innaccurate and false income representations given to them by Dunkin…
Upon information and belief, of the few African American multi-unit franchisees in New York, they are overwhelmingly steered to economically disadvantaged minority areas, with Dunkin reserving the economically better areas for white franchisees.
Upon further information and belief Dunkin does not have any African-American female or male multi-unit franchisees in the State of New Jersey and has intentionally prevented African Americans from becoming franchisees in New Jersey.
Upon further information and belief Dunkin does not have any African-American unit franchisees in the State of Connecticut or the State of Rhode Island and has intentionally prevented African Americans from becoming franchisees in those states.
Upon further information and belief of the over 6,990 Dunkin/Baskin Robbins franchises, less than fifty (50) are owned by African Americans.
Of those franchises owned by African Americans outside of New York, the majority of the franchises are located in less advantageous minority areas…
Dunkin engages in this discriminatory conduct with the intent of depriving African-Americans the economically advantageous opportunities afforded non-African American franchisees.
The suit further alleges that the Prettos were deceived (by misleading and illegal sales projections furnished by Dunkin’ Donuts) into developing three Dunkin’ Donuts locations in bad locations. The Prettos eventually lost their entire investment and had to declare bankruptcy.
Read the entire complaint here:
Also Read: BASKIN-ROBBINS Franchise Complaints
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