Dunkin’ Donuts faces race bias claims by former franchisees

Suit says Dunkin’ discriminated against African-Americans and Asian-Indian women

There are at least three Americans who are no longer running on Dunkin’.

The plaintiffs filed suit against the coffee and donut retailer claiming it engages in “systematic racial discrimination” against black people and Asian-Indian women.

Amy and Reggie Pretto, who are black, and Priti Shetty, an Asian-Indian woman, filed the suit in New Jersey Superior Court on Monday. The Prettos claim that Dunkin’ Donuts “steered” them away from their desired area in New York and New Jersey, where they lived, and pressured them to open stores in Maryland, which was not as favorable economically. Those stores ultimately failed. Shetty says she was harassed by Dunkin’ Donuts’ management, and the company refused to allow her to open a third franchise in Stockholm, N.J.—all because she’s a woman.

The suit seeks monetary damages and requests to stop Dunkin’ Donuts from engaging in discriminatory practices.

"While we cannot comment on pending litigation, our franchisee diversity and our franchisee relationships are a source of pride for us and a strength within our system," Michelle King, a spokeswoman for Dunkin’ Donuts, told Reuters in an email.

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Cathleen Flahardy

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