New York: An Indian-American woman, who had a franchisee of the US coffee retailer Dunkin' Donuts, has filed a lawsuit against the company alleging that she faced harassment and discrimination due to her ethnicity and was prevented from opening more stores.
Priti Shetty, along with an African-American couple Amy and Reggie Pretto filed the lawsuit in state Superior Court in New Brunswick, New Jersey accusing the doughnut and coffee seller of "systematic racial discrimination."
Shetty said in the lawsuit she was repeatedly harassed because of her Indian-origin by a district manager at Dunkin' Donuts and was prevented from opening a third store in New Jersey.
The Prettos allege that the company falsely told them there were no locations available in the economically viable New Jersey/New York metropolitan area and instead were asked to open their franchisee in a less profitable location.
"As far as Indian American women and African-Americans, female or male, are concerned, Dunkin's slogan should be 'Dunkin Runs on Discrimination' rather than 'America Runs on Dunkin'," the lawsuit said.
Dunkin' spokesperson Michelle King said while the company cannot comment on the pending case, "our franchisee diversity and our franchisee relationships are a source of pride for us and a strength within our system.    "
Besides seeking monetary damages, Shetty and the Prettos have asked a judge to stop Dunkin' Donuts from discriminating against African Americans and other minority franchise owners and to put in place additional anti-discrimination policies, their attorney Louis Tambaro said.
"There's certainly no discrimination against green money, but there are discrimination issues against African-Americans and Indian women of colour," Tambaro said.


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