Ex-Dunkin’ Donuts Exec Sues over Bad References

February 16, 2010 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – A former Dunkin’ Donuts executive charges in a lawsuit that the Canton, Massachusetts-based chain bad mouthed him to other potential employers to the point where he is virtually unemployable.

The National Law Journal reports that plaintiff Michael O’Donovan, a former Dunkin’ Brands vice president of global research and development, charges that the bad references damaged his professional reputation within the restaurant industry. As a result, O’Donovan charges, he lost several potential job prospects in recent years. 

The suit charges that the bad references indicated he was guilty of “excessive drinking, inappropriate conduct with female employees, chronic inability to meet deadlines, and a misleading and dishonest character.”

O’Donovan also charges that the company violated a 2007 severance agreement that prohibited the company from disclosing the circumstances surrounding O’Donovan’s departure.

“O’Donovan has been advised by various recruiters and industry colleagues that he is essentially untouchable in the food services industry as the result of negative statements originating with Dunkin,” the lawsuit alleges.

A Dunkin’ Brands spokesman, Andrew Mastrangelo, responded, according to the Law Journal story: “It would be inappropriate for us to comment as the lawsuit has not been served to us by Mr. O’Donovan or his attorney.”