Suit: Dunkin’ did me wrong
By Mark DeCambre
More lawsuits are brewing at Dunkin’ Donuts.
A franchisee is suing the coffee-and-donut chain for racial discrimination, in particular against “Asian Indian American women of color.”
Priti Shetty, who is Indian American, filed a suit in New Jersey state court last week against publicly traded Dunkin’ Brands, accusing it of a poor track record with people of color.
Many women of Indian descent work at Dunkin’ but none are multi-unit managers in New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, the suit claims.
Shetty, a former business analyst at Ernst & Young, alleges that one Dunkin’ brand rep, Wayne Miller, told her she was not “servile enough” as an Indian woman.
Miller also forced her two Dunkin’ stores in Wantage and Oak Ridge, NJ, to stay open 24 hours despite her protests that crime in those areas posed a threat to her personal safety, according to the suit. She cited evidence that keeping the doors open longer didn’t bring any more sales after factoring the costs of employee expenses.
Shetty’s lawyer, Jerry Marks of Marks & Klein, said that Dunkin’ denied her attempts to open up a third store, as is required under Dunkin’s franchising agreement.
Shetty claims that when she proposed a third store in Stockholm, NJ, Dunkin’ rejected her proposal, arguing that the venue would need to accommodate a drive-thru window for customers and her proposed location wasn’t suitable for that.
The suit claims, however, that a male franchisee was allowed to open a new Dunkin’ store at the exact same location without a drive-thru window soon after her request.
A spokeswoman for Dunkin’ said that the company wasn’t aware of the suit and declined to comment.