A lawsuit against Mary Kay Cosmetics was filed on November 6, 2006 by Robin Blackmon-Dunda and Styker Dunda. The suit includes the following alleged counts: breach of contract, intentional interference with contracts, interference with prospective contracts, deceptive trade practices, intentional infliction of emotional distress and defamation.
The original petition filed in Dallas County Court includes the following:
- Until her termination by Defendant, Plaintiff Robin Blackmon-Dunda was a Sales Director with Mary Kay of long, and illustrious, standing having begun her Mary Kay business in July, 1987 and debuting as a Sales Director in 1994, achieving Top Ten in sales for her (Sapphire) Seminar three times, Million-Dollar Sales Director twice, and Top Ten Sales Director Nationwide twice. She was Queen of Unit Sales for the Sapphire Seminar in 2005, and 1st runner-up in 2006, finishing 5th for the entire nation. Her Mother, Jo Ann Blackmon has been with Mary Kay for 37 star-studded years of her own. They are the first mother-daughter Million Dollar Sales Directors in Mary Kay history.
- Plaintiff Robin Blackmon-Dunda had 683 Independent Beauty Consultants and the 5th ranked unit sales out of 14,000 units nationwide in Mary Kay, which includes 715,000 consultants. Her sales topped the $1.1 million amount the past two years and were over $900,000 in 2004.
- Despite all of her stellar accomplishments, including the building and training of her large team of consultants, according to a letter to her from Defendant’s in-house counsel dated August 10, 2006, a true and correct copy of which is attached as Exhibit 3 hereto, Mary Kay decided to take Plaintiff Robin Blackmon-Dunda’s “business” and her “career” away from her and not compensate her for the sales volume her Unit will continue to generate for Mary Kay into perpetuity, simply by giving her thirty (30) days notice of its intent to do so. This attempted forfeiture of Plaintiff Robin Blackmon-Dunda’s rights would appear to include her right, already earned, for her to travel, along with her husband, Plaintiff Stryker Dunda, on the 2006 Top Sales Director Trip at the Prestige Level, as was previously confirmed to her by letter from Mary Kay dated July 14, 2006.
- By its conduct, Defendant has failed to give Plaintiff Robin Blackmon-Dunda an opportunity to sell her right to a residual income stream from the sales of the Unit she has spent years building and training has worked a forfeiture of the $220,000.00 or more annual income generated from her business, including Commissions, Prizes and Awards, not only for her life expectancy but for the reasonable “life expectancy” of the Unit she has created and maintained.
- Mary Kay, in misappropriating Plaintiff Robin Blackmon-Dunda’s business will, with reasonable probability, generate tens of millions of dollars of sales and profits from the sales made by her Unit now and into the future.
The court filing goes on to detail several situations Robin had with corporate:
- In 2001 she was sent a warning letter for allegedly placing an order in a consultant’s name and without the consultant’s consent
- A December 29, 2004 letter from corporate asked her to account for the promotion of cruise/travel vouchers on her website.
- A January 27, 2005 letter form corporate told her to stop selling a training DVD and CD she allegedly made. She says she did not create the DVD and CD, but that Karen Ford did, and Robin had stopped selling it and was giving it away for free.
- An August 14, 2006 letter from corporate alleged that she had again violated the director agreement with her involvement in selling, promoting and distributing the hostess apron and instructional DVD. She was also alleged to be involved in promoting a third party lender.
On April 8, 2005, Robin had a meeting with corporate executives, in which she says they threatened to terminate her, put her in indefinite probation, and did not allow her to teach or speak at Seminar 2005.
Robin says that the company approved of the apron and wanted to use the idea, but did not want to give her credit. Stryker became the person to sell and promote the apron, since he is not bound by the director agreement.
Robin and Stryker further allege that Mary Kay:
“…has wrongfully and unfairly selected Plaintiff Robin Blackmon-Dunda, one of its most devoted, loyal and successful Directors ever, for unwanted, harassing and discriminatory treatment, while ignoring a multiplicity of similar activities by some National Sales Directors and other Sales Directors of Mary Kay.”
This blog is also mentioned in the lawsuit, as Robin and Stryker are alleging that Mary Kay should have known that the termination letter would cause them to be “…repeatedly and mercilessly trashed and disgraced” on the blog.
Darrell Overcash gets a mention for an August 29, 2006 letter that was sent to the national sales directors, in which he says that Robin’s termination was a result of “repeated unsuccessful attempts” to help her “understand she was doing something wrong.”
Robin is asking for money, of course, and to be reinstated as a sales director with her unit.