Health care workers learn how to don and doff protective gear to prepare for the Coronavirus, held at Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck on 02/24/20. Video by Mitsu Yasukawa. NorthJersey
TEANECK — A township man has filed a lawsuit against Dunkin’ Brands, the parent company of Dunkin’, and several employees at the company’s Teaneck Road franchise claiming discrimination and harassment.
Reginald Logan, 59, who filed the lawsuit in New Jersey District Court, alleges restaurant employees violated his civil rights by singling him out for mistreatment because of his race.
“In Dunkin’ Donuts, there are plenty of people in there all the time on their laptops, reading magazines, but repeatedly they would single him out and ask him to leave, said Logan’s attorney, Montell Figgins. “There would be five other people of other races on laptops not being bothered at all.”
Logan claims the franchise’s shift manager began harassing him in 2016, demanding that he move to a different table or purchase additional items. He says he noticed he and other racial minorities were the only people treated in this manner.
In January 2018, Logan sat at a friend’s table and before he had a chance to place an order, the manager began yelling at him to order something, the complaint says. He left and later that day, told Agnes Slonecznik, the franchise owner, about what happened when he saw her at a nearby drugstore.
That June, Logan went to the store and another manager told him to “purchase something and then leave,” the lawsuit says. The manager then called the police and officers ordered him to leave the store. Logan later called Dunkin’s corporate headquarters to make a complaint.
Shortly after that phone call, Logan visited the restaurant without incident, but when he arrived home, two police officers knocked on his door and told him to “stay away from Dunkin’ Donuts,” according to the lawsuit. He was told that a franchise employee had filed a harassment complaint against him with the police.
Before the incident, Logan said he would meet with friends daily for coffee, usually staying for about half an hour to 45 minutes.
“My civil rights were violated,” said Logan, a retiree who served in the United States Marine Corps and later worked in print production for the New York Post. “I was being harassed by an employee and then as soon as I file a complaint, cops are coming to my house.”
A complaint filed with the township by Saman Abbasi, a Dunkin’ employee, in July 2018 alleged Logan had followed her on the street. The case was later dismissed because, according to Logan’s lawsuit, during one of the hearings, Abbasi stated that she simply did “what they tell me to do,” when asked why she filed the charges against him.
“The fact that they went to the extent of filing a false complaint — that was done clearly to keep him from coming in the place,” Figgins said. “It’s not about money for Mr. Logan. It’s the principle that a black man can’t go into a Dunkin’ Donuts and sit down and not be harassed and bothered, and when he goes to register a complaint with corporate, they try to get him arrested. We want justice.”
Lindsay A. Cronin, a spokeswoman for Dunkin, said the company is unable to comment on pending litigation.
In the lawsuit, Logan claims he has experienced physical and emotional pain and suffering, a loss of physical liberty and a violation of his constitutional rights.
He is demanding damages for humiliation, pain and suffering, punitive damages, attorneys’ fees and any other relief the court decides is appropriate.
Megan Burrow is a local reporter for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.
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