Boston – The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts and the Boston Office of the U.S. Department of Labor announced today that Dunkin’ Donuts—Pulaski Donuts, Inc. has entered into a settlement agreement. The agreement reached will resolve a complaint filed with the Department of Labor, Veterans’ Employment and Training Service by Army Reservist Christine Deneault.
Denault alleged that she was not properly reemployed by Pulaski Donuts after her return from active military duty, in violation of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), which generally requires employers to promptly reemploy returning service members in the positions they would have held had their employment not been interrupted by military service.
Pursuant to the terms of the settlement agreement, Pulaski Donuts has paid $10,000 to Deneault, and has committed to future compliance with USERRA and to provide USERRA training for managers at all 17 of Pulaski Donuts’ Dunkin Donuts franchises. Pulaski has not admitted liability in connection with the settlement.
“We are pleased to work with our federal partners at the Labor Department to ensure that military men and women across the Commonwealth, who proudly protect and defend the United States, can return from their military service without fear of discrimination in employment,” said Carmen M. Ortiz, U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts. “The United States Attorney’s Office remains committed to protecting the rights of these brave service members.”
The matter was handled by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of the Solicitor, with collaboration from the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Employment Litigation Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department. The matter stems from an investigation conducted by the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service.
The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Offices have given a high priority to the enforcement of service members’ rights under USERRA. Additional information about USERRA can be found on the Justice Department’s websites at www.justice.gov/crt/emp and www.servicemembers.gov, as well as on the Labor Department’s website at www.dol.gov/vets/programs/userra/main.htm.