Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Dunkin' Donuts Sued by Alleged Drunkin' Ex-Exec

Dunkin Donuts Original Blend Medium Roast Ground Coffee 40oz. Bag (2.5 Pounds)Alternatively: Time to Make the Lawsuits

In the interest of full disclosure, I go to Dunkin' Donuts almost every Sunday morning. Aside from my current boycott of the East-end shop (due to their disregard of my love of maple frosting), I'm a big fan. I'll try to be objective though. The Boston Globe reports that an Ex-Dunkin' executive filed a $5 million lawsuit against his former employer.

Michael O'Donovan, entered into a severance agreement with Dunkin' Donuts that included a confidentiality clause and prohibited the company from making disparaging statements that could harm his reputation or career prospects. Per the Globe, the Complaint included allegations that Dunkin' employees made false and defamatory statements alleging
"excessive drinking, inappropriate conduct with female employees, chronic inability to meet deadlines, and a misleading and dishonest character."
Well, that certainly sounds disparaging to me.

Reputation-wise, this seems like a no-win situation for O'Donovan. If he was worried about confidentiality before... putting everything in the pages of the Boston Globe surely won't help. People may believe his ex-co-workers' allegations. If not, they're still left assuming his old co-workers so despise him that they make up these awful things about him. I could also swear (although I am now unable to find this anywhere so I'm questioning my own memory) that I read another article that included some information regarding his 2007 departure.

From an employer's perspective, the moral of the story  seems pretty simple: If you enter into an agreement, then you abide by its terms.