Franchise owner, Walid Elkhatib who runs two Dunkinâ€™ Donuts outlets, has been serving coffee and donuts for almost 30 years. He may lose it all because he refuses to serve bacon, sausage and ham sandwiches.
Elkhatib explained to the company that Islamic law forbids him to eat or handle pig meat; however, the company said that it would not renew Elkhatibâ€™s franchise unless he sells â€˜the complete line of approved Dunkinâ€™ Donuts productsâ€™. Elkhatib took his case to federal court.
Due to Elkhatib being the owner and not an employee of Dunkinâ€™ Donuts, he could not claim discrimination based on religion, instead he claimed racial discrimination, using a Reconstruction-era law, initially set to protect slaves after the Civil war.
The court battle continued for five years. The company maintained the argument that a, â€œDunkin’ Donuts franchise can no more refuse to sell breakfast sandwiches based on the Muslim faith, or Arab ancestry, than a McDonald’s franchise can refuse to sell hamburgers because they are Hindu or Indian,â€ and proved undefeated in court when the case was won.
Elkhatib has lost one franchise, while the lease of the other outlet is up next year.
In July of this year, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the complaint could proceed. It discovered that some Dunkinâ€™ Donuts are allowing some pork-free establishments to operate â€“ Elkhatib will continue in his battle against the company.