Dunkin’ Donuts Franchise Under Fire on National Donut Day

PolitiChicks.comRecently, a Dunkin’ Donuts in Johnson City, Tenn. has come under fire for their business practices. According to one former employee, the store manager, Marlene Bennett, would illegally cut hours from an employee’s paycheck to keep from having to pay the employee overtime, although they already worked those hours.

Bennett allegedly kept employees from taking a 30-minute meal period, which is required by Tenn. labor laws. Former employees said if Bennett allowed employees to take a meal break, it was usually employees who were minors.

“If she gave any of us a lunch break, it was for those who are under 18 but even then, those breaks only lasted 10 to 15 minutes,” one employee said.

Employees also allege Bennett refused to give employees a rest period, which isn’t required by Tenn. labor laws, but is considered common practice in the industry.

“When we told the District Manager, Mary Vaughn, about not getting breaks, Marlene [Bennett] punished everyone,” the former employee said. “She said we were no longer allowed to have food or drinks in the store and if we had to use the bathroom, we couldn’t go unless we asked for permission.”

If Bennett was out of the store, employees were instructed to ask the store’s Assistant Manager for permission to use the bathroom.

When asked about the situation, Dunkin’ Donuts Corporate provided PolitiChicks with the following statement:

“Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants are independently owned and operated by individual franchisees who are solely responsible for making their own business decisions, including employment decisions such as schedules, wages and benefits they offer their employees. Franchisees are required to comply with all applicable state, federal and local laws, including but not limited to wage, hour, and rest and meal break laws.”

PolitiChicks asked Dunkin’ Donuts if they had any internal procedures/disciplinary action for franchisees who break state, federal or local laws or if that was left to government agencies, like OSHA, to deal with. We received the following response:

“While I’m unable to detail our internal procedures, Dunkin’ Donuts has reached out to the franchisee regarding the allegations so they can look into the matter and take any action they deem necessary,” said Justin Drake, Senior Manager of Public Relations for Dunkin’ Brands Groups, Inc.

PolitiChicks was unable to reach Ms. Bennett for comment.

Beth Baumann

Beth Baumann is a California native, who grew up with an interest in politics from a young age. Beth attended Northern Arizona University, where she was a member of the NAU Conservatives, an activist organization dedicating to spreading conservative ideals. She also founded the NAU chapter of Young Americans for Liberty, took part in the Flagstaff Smart Girl Politics chapter and helped a local conservative run for Flagstaff City Council. Beth has received national attention due to the First Amendment restrictions on her college campus. She defended her Freedom of Speech when she was ridiculed for handing out flags in remembrance of 9/11. Although she faced misconduct charges, up to and including expulsion, she stood by her Constitutional rights and beliefs. With the help of the Leadership Institute and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), she was eventually exonerated of all charges. During her tenure, she was copy editor for the newspaper, marketing director and film festival director for the campus TV station, and news correspondent for political talk radio. Beth was the Communications Assistant at The American Conservative Union, where she helped with planning and executing different aspects of CPAC 2014, including social media, media strategy and crisis management. Beth works at a well established public relations firm in Southern California. Her work has been featured in The Daily Caller, The Washington Times, World Net Daily and Human Events. Follow Beth on Twitter: @eb454

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