The franchise discrimination lawsuit against Dunkin’ Donuts can proceed, a New Jersey Superior Court Judge has ruled.
UnhappyFranchisee.Com has previously written about the lawsuit here:
The franchise attorney for the plaintiffs is Gerald A. Marks of the Red Bank, New Jersey law firm of Marks & Klein.
The press release for the lawsuit the lawsuit follows.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
COURT RULES AFRICAN AMERICAN AND INDIAN FRANCHISEES ARE PERMITTED TO PROCEED IN DISCRIMINATION AGAINST DUNKIN DONUTS
(New Brunswick, NJ)
Former Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee Priti Shetty on behalf of herself and all other Asian Indian women and Reggie Pretto and Amy Pretto, husband and wife, on behalf of themselves and all other African Americans were permitted by the New Jersey Superior Court, Middlesex County to proceed with their claims against Dunkin’ Donuts Franchised Brands, LLC for discrimination, harassment and “racial steering” in violation of both federal and New Jersey State civil rights and discrimination laws.
The lawsuit alleges a pattern of harassment and discrimination against Asian American women of color as well as a separate pattern of discriminatory “steering” against all African American franchisees. The most startling statistic alleged in the Complaint is that out of 6,900 Dunkin’ Donuts franchisees in the United States, only 50 are African American and of those franchisees, they are “steered” to less economically successful locations than are white franchisees.
Dunkin’ sought unsuccessfully to avoid the entire lawsuit on technical statute of limitations grounds but New Jersey Superior Court Judge Mathias Rodriguez, rejected Dunkin’s dismissal argument on the basis that the Complaint made highly specific allegations of discrimination and that the statute of limitations argument was premature.
Shetty and the Prettos received external support from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and other New Jersey other civil rights organizations in the State of New Jersey and throughout the United States. In a courtroom crowded with supporters, The Honorable Mathias Rodriguez, J.S.C. rejected Dunkin’s dismissal argument as premature and also noted that Shetty and the Prettos had made highly specific allegations of discrimination in their lengthy Complaint.
The Prettos seek damages for pain and humiliation caused by the discrimination pursuant to the Civil Rights Act.
In response to the Court’s favorable decision, Plaintiffs’ Counsel, Gerald A. Marks of the Red Bank, New Jersey law firm of Marks & Klein stated: “We are extremely pleased with Judge Rodriguez’s ruling and fully intend to use this discovery opportunity to dig both into the discriminatory practices alleged in the Complaint and to get to the root of this hugely important social and economic issue.”
Louis Tambaro, Esq. of Marks & Klein also added that: “The aim of the lawsuit is to establish racial equality in the Dunkin franchise system and impose proper business fixes to prevent this type of discrimination from re-occurring in the future”.
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