Pret A Manger Lawsuits & Settlements

Below are just a few of the recent or repeated lawsuits Pret has faced and/or settled. Some lawsuits have disappeared off the news, and it may be because the plaintiffs settle out of court and signed an NDA, like the former staff lawsuit on racism. The case completely disappeared off the news.

Many customers on social media complain that Pret has raised prices to 20-24%.

Apart from getting more money of course, it is to cater to the owners JAB Holdings with seat in tax-haven Luxembourg under the second richest family in Germany, the Reimanns. Also serving shareholders and Pret executives, it may be that because Pret is facing settlement payments, who better to foot the bill than customers.

In the USA people sue very quick, while in the UK, even after customers died, hardly anyone is suing, and when they do, Pret keeps winning. The legal systems in the USA and the UK can’t be further apart.

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A staff member in the USA mentioned the constant lawsuits against Pret:

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There are ongoing lawsuits, at least six against Pret in the USA for unpaid rents. And even though Pret got help from the Government for employee costs during Covid, has received a cash injection from owners JAB Holdings of £185 million, have been awarded £100 million from shareholders etc. These are what Pret received. Another £87 million Pret is trying to get from the banks.

Altogether Pret received Government help and privately £285 million plus trying to get another £87 million. All the while refusing to pay bills and many customers feel cheated on the subscription service, hardly getting the items they’ve been told they’d get.

BBC report: Pret A Manger customers complain over drinks subscription deal and many other issues that customers AND staff raise with Pret or the press.

The money Pret received, they don’t use to pay their rents and debt, they use it to open 200 more shops. Pret lowered wages, benefits, paid breaks of already stretched and burnt out front-line workers, then raised the wage to £10 after a lot of public pressure and a strike announcement. But the raise is still UNDER the living wage and Pret just made a big PR announcement about it! Staff are still worse off than already before.

Pret raise prices, refuse to pay the bills etc. etc. And now customers and staff foot the bill under the inflation umbrella.

Article: Pret A Manger facing millions in Lawsuits for unpaid rents.

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A few recent lawsuits, some that have been settled, others that are still ongoing or settled and plaintiffs can’t speak about it.

One of the most troubling ones, and where Pret is showing their TYPICAL naughty streak is the fingerprinting of employees in Illinois. The $677,000 settlement is really peanuts, because 800 current/former staff will get around $500+ each AFTER legal aid took their share.

Link: Pret A Manger Fingerprinting Class Action Suit Reaches Settlement

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While I’m with staff lawsuits, Pret had to repay TWICE 4000 staff for “shaving off” (rounding down), cheating staff out of pay. I write about this here: Wage Theft in Pret

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And another former staff lawsuit regarding racism in several NYC shops. This is the lawsuit that has disappeared off the public and press, unless I’m not searching right. Link: Lawsuit vs Pret A Manger on Racism with a link to the full court document.

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I can’t find any more info on this lawsuit and its outcome. I suspect that it was settled and the plaintiff Ms. Battle may have signed an NDA. Hence, we won’t hear of it anymore in the public. But it’s just my guess.

Regarding Allergen Lawsuits – So far Pret has won them ALL, unless something got settled out of court and so is not in the public knowledge.

Pret has set aside £10 million for allergen lawsuits and keep winning cases, even after two customers have died and 20+ allergen injuries Pret ignored until it all blew up in the media. Pret won because they didn’t break any law. and YET, Pret still don’t label in Paris and Dubai according to customers there. The UK now has “Natasha’s Law”, so it is LAW to label food. And which ever country outside the UK that does not have labelling laws, Pret just goes ahead and DON’T label! So far to the “meaningful change” Pret promised in 2018 when the deaths and injuries were revealed.

More here: Pret do NOT label food in Dubai, Paris

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This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2021-07-15-unlabelled-food-dubai1-marked.jpg

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This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2021-07-15-unlabelled-food-dubai2-marked.jpg

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Instead of setting ONLY aside £10 million for lawsuit settlements, Pret should continue to invest in LABELLING also outside of the UK. In the UK “Natasha’s Law” is now in effect since October 2021, but Pret AGAIN will blame laws in other countries should another customer die or get injured.

Pret set aside £10 million for food allergy scandal costs

And other lawsuits that are older or settled out of court.

One important lawsuit and challenge by the Advertising Standards Authority is on Pret’s “Natural” claim. Many people either haven’t noticed yet, or don’t know why Pret removed the word “natural” off all their signage and packaging. I explain here: Pret A Manger – Ready to (ch)eat

etc. etc. etc.

One interesting lawsuit that was won against Pret RE-founder and itsu founder Julian Metcalfe where former Pret CEO Clive Schlee was involved (who owns half of itsu) is from 2002, quote from The Caterer article:

A senior chef last week won his unfair dismissal case against Julian Metcalfe, founder of both the Pret A Manger sandwich-shop chain and Itsu sushi restaurants in London.

Clive Fretwell, who had worked for 14 years at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, told a Woburn employment tribunal he had been recruited in 1988 to help develop a chain of Itsu restaurants.

He said the intention had been to give him a 2.5% founding stake in the business and an additional 10% in two years, with the possibility of ‘big money’ if it were sold. When a second restaurant, which opened two years later, failed to live up to expectations, Fretwell claimed he became aware that Metcalfe and Itsu co-director Clive Schlee were trying to get rid of him.

He said he was told last July that the company could not afford his salary, and he was dismissed in August.

The compensation agreed was undisclosed.” End of quote.

Link

And to wrap it up, Pret’s year in review 2021:

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I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
An incomplete list on what other Pret staff say about Pret’s bullying environment: Caught in the Act Bullying at Pret.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by The Adam Paradox, and wrote two articles in the Scottish Left Review.

Please also see the MEDIA page for more.

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Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

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Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

And ANOTHER LAWSUIT against Pret A Manger

»Pret can’t dodge biometric privacy lawsuit over employee fingerprint scans«

»Pret A Manger must face a proposed class action over alleged unlawful collection and retention of employees’ biometric data«

Link to Reuters article

“The lawsuit was filed in November 2020 in Cook County Circuit Court by attorneys Keith J. Keogh and Gregg M. Barbakoff, of Keogh Law Ltd., of Chicago. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of named plaintiff Kayla Quarles, identified as a former Pret A Manger employee, who worked at one of the chain’s Chicago locations for about a year, ending in 2019.

The lawsuit seeks to expand the action to include virtually all Pret A Manger employees who worked at its Chicago restaurants in the past five years.

The class action asserts Pret A Manger improperly required its workers to scan their fingerprints when punching in and out of work shifts. Specifically, the lawsuit accuses Pret A Manger of failing to secure written authorization from the workers before requiring such fingerprint scans, and of failing to provide workers and the public with certain notices required by the law, explaining why Pret A Manger was requiring the fingerprint scans, and what it would do with the scanned biometric identification data.”

Link

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I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
An incomplete list on what other Pret staff say about Pret’s bullying environment: Caught in the Act Bullying at Pret.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by The Adam Paradox, and wrote two articles in the Scottish Left Review.

.
Thank you for reading/listening.

©2017 – Present: expret.org


Interview:

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Lawsuit vs Pret A Manger on Racism

2020-07-02 Lawsuit racism

Link

Pret Lawsuit Racism

Link

At the bottom of this page I highlight a few things that I also experienced in Pret’s bullying environment. I link to the full 19 page court document of this lawsuit.

In light of the police violence and the death of George Floyd, sparking worldwide anti-racism protests, some former Pret staff speak out on social media on Pret’s Black Lives Matter posts. The below Tweets are only those they care to post, not having checked Facebook, Instagram etc. The problem is bigger than meets the eye.

Former Employee Tweets:

2020-06-04 Racism in Pret

Link

2020-06-04 Pret racism

Link

2020-06-07 Former Pret staff NrmnFckngRckwll complaint 01

2020-06-28 Racism staff posts FB

Link

Customer Tweets:

2020-01-17 Customer complaint racism

Link

2020-03-19 Customer complaint racism

Link

Employee Reviews Glassoor / Indeed:

2020-06-01 Racist bullying review

Link > Birmingham, UK

2019-10-10 NY Strokes Folks

Link

2013 Racism Review

Link

2019-03-08 TL - Rasism Racism - RVW25061701

Link

An Italian review on racism:

Italian review racism

Link

A USA review on racism:

USA 2013 Review racist

GM slavery

Link

2018-10-02 Modern day slavery depression

TITLE 2018-10-18 Slave Company

2019-06-01 TM - Just Ugh Slave - RVW26426142 marked

TITLE 2017-06-15 TM NY - Workers are Slave - RVW15492936 crop

2014-11-11 Kitchen Prep NY - Horrible Overworked Slave Fired Fast - RVW5359199

etc. etc. etc.

There are countless more reviews and complaints on various platforms along the lines of racism, slavery, favouritism, discrimination etc., not just on Glassdoor and Indeed. But I just stumbled across a 2012 article by The Voice of two black employees who are very specific in describing their experience. And their experience sounds very familiar of the systemic bullying environment in Pret A Manger. The claim that Pret treated them as “slaves” is a very common complaint on Review sites and YouTube etc.

The Voice article

Link to The Voice article in 2012.

There’s a reason why Pret and its leadership have such poor scores on Glassdoor & Co, and why Cliver Schlee, former CEO, left with this legacy:

2019-06-30 44 staff 50 Clive

Glassdoor scores.

2020-07-01 Pano 40 37

NOTE: If the slide show does not run automatically, please delete amp/ from above URL and reload in order to view. Or click HERE

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The above slideshow is just a selection, the list goes on in Pret Staff Complaints, including at Head Office and Management complaints, please scroll down to the screenshots in this article:

>> Caught in the Act Bullying at Pret A Manger.


>>> LINK to the Court document of the lawsuit
BATTLE v Pret A Manger.

2020-07-01 Court doc vs Pret racism

I’m aware that these are alleged accounts of Ms Battle. But I want to highlight a few things from my own experience with Pret and what I witnessed with colleagues. Please take the time to read the above 19 page court document. It really shows the systemic culture and hostile work environment which includes subtle bullying. Ms Battle’s experience though shows how hostile shops in the U.S. are, and many U.S. reviews keep saying the same thing over the years of favouritism, racism, bullying.

I want to highlight as well, that in the shops where I worked I never heard the N-Word, but I witnessed subtle racism and backbiting. As a Team Leader I always immediately spoke out against any form of discrimination against race, gender, sexual orientation etc. My colleagues knew that I won’t tolerate any form of discrimination. But there was always the subtle type of racism where a colleague for example complained about another Team Member and always felt the need to mention that they were Black. My response was “Why do you need to mention that they’re Black?” With that I never heard any more subtle comments from those who made mentioned like this. My Teams knew that I would not tolerate ANY form of discrimination. 

I also was contacted a few months ago by a then current Pret employee from the U.S. who complained to me about their shop mainly employing Hispanic workers. I immediately spoke up that I won’t accept racism. In hindsight as well, this may have been a mention of the 60 Broad St New York shop that Ms Battle from the lawsuit here worked at. But I don’t know this. And as the person kept ranting about Hispanic staff, I blocked them. Unfortunately I didn’t do a screenshot of the complaint, even though that complaint may still be there as it was made publicly on MY Facebook feed. But for the life of me, I can’t find it due to having blocked and can’t remember the Facebook account of the person! Oh well …

Page 6 of PDF document, point # 20:
“[Manager] Ramos also accepted and normalized the use of the N-word by Team Members.”
My comment: That’s why this became so aggressively rampant in several shops.

Page7 , point 23:
“Despite her complaint to Ramos, Plaintiff’s coworkers and supervisors continued to use racial slurs in her presence on a regular basis.”
Very typical Pret A Manger that complaints fall on deaf ears.

Page 8, point 25:
“After Plaintiff explained to her coworkers that she was offended by their use of racial slurs, they began to use it even more frequently in her presence.”
Yep, also typical in Pret. You raise an issue, and they do it even more.

Page 9, point 30:
“Ramos [Manager] did not discipline the Team Member for her use of racial slurs.”
Again, very typical Pret.

Page 9, point 31:
“Ramos initially cut Plaintiff’s hours below 30 per week in or around January 2018. When Plaintiff complained to Ramos that he had cut her hours below full time, he told her it was just for that week. Then it happened again the next week and the week after that.”
This is a CLASSICAL bullying tactic. Cutting hours down, no matter if the contracted hours are higher, and initially just saying that this would be temporary. I had that many, many times in Pret. One Manager even cut a whole week to ZERO, and that DURING the Christmas period in 2017 shortly after my dad came out of his coma! It is a classical attempt to make employees resign in desperation to leave this toxic environment.

Page 9, point 32:
“Plaintiff was also harassed and discriminated against in many smaller ways that cumulatively degraded the conditions of her employment. Another African American coworker named Destiny suffered many of these same indignities. By way of example, Plaintiff and Destiny were ordered by supervisors, usually Ramos, to take out the garbage a disproportionate number of times. This was especially remarkable because female workers at 60 Broad were not usually tasked with dragging the heavy trash bags to the garbage dump. Seeing Plaintiff dragging these bags to the garbage dump, the garbage man asked her, “What are you doing back here? I never heard of them sending a female to do garbage pickup.””
Bullying takes on many different forms including subtle harassment and unfavourable treatment being sent to do menial or degrading tasks repeatedly. I was ordered by a Manager once when I was the Team Leader IN FRONT of a 16 year old apprentice to stock up bananas!

Now I stocked up bananas, I cleaned the toilets and got my hands dirty as a Team Leader like everyone else. My colleagues knew that I didn’t shy away from menial tasks and that it was important to me that we worked as a Team and that if I as the Team Leader can clean the toilets, they can after some tried to talk themselves out of certain jobs. SO, doing these “menial” tasks wasn’t an issue for me whatsoever. But what this GM did was to systematically bully in very subtle ways, in front of others, in this case a 16 year old apprentice. It’s a classical bullying strategy as well, especially since this GM knew how hard I worked and how well I lead the Team for us to work together like clockwork and as a strong Team where no-one is more important than the other.

This Manager would do that with anyone he disliked or was upset with for whatever reason, not just with me. He would order us to do menial tasks and ordered this in front of staff. These were very subtle and passive aggressive bullying tactics, just to humiliate especially staff who were in position of leadership.

Page 9, points 33 & 34:
“On orders from Rosario and Ramos, Plaintiff and Destiny also made a disproportionate amount of deliveries during the winter when the weather was cold and it was snowing. … With reference to the menial tasks given to Plaintiff, a Team Member named Jasmine asked Plaintiff, “Why are they asking one person to do everything?””
Self-explanatory!

Page 10, point 37:
“The N -word was used pervasively by employees at those other Pret locations, as well.”
Systemic.

Pages 10 & 11 , points 38 & 39:
“… Burke [HR] said she was just there to deal with the hours issue, and that if Plaintiff had a different issue Plaintiff should call a hotline dedicated to dealing with complaints. 39.In or around early April, Plaintiff called the hotline to which the human resources representative had referred her. The call went to voicemail. Plaintiff left a voicemail during which she complained about her hours being cut and that her shop was “a hostile work environment.””
HR ignored Ms Battle’s complaint about racist slurs and did the typical thing Pret HR does, sending people away to call some hotline which goes to an automated voice mail only.

Page 11, point 41:
“Gregorio [HR] sent Plaintiff an email write-up that mischaracterized and/or omitted many of the issues Plaintiff raised. Notably absent from the write-up was any mention of racial slurs, including the incident Plaintiff told Gregorio about.”
Yep, typical Pret HR behaviour, leaving vital issues out and/or distracting from the main issues raised.

Page 14, point 55 & 56:
“On July 12, 2018 Plaintiff sent Gregorio an email in which she cited, among other concerns, her coworkers’ use of racial slurs and the lack of action taken in response to her prior complaints. She also mentioned that she had sent Ramos a text about her concerns and that he had not responded and refused to discuss her concerns. Faced with these explicit, written complaints, Pret lurched into action, albeit a kind both belated and insufficient.”
Once Ms Battle put her complaint in writing in an email, Pret suddenly responded, but insufficient of course.

In a lawsuit in 2010 in the UK a Judge ruled in favour of a former Pret worker who sued Pret for unfair dismissal. The Judge mentioned Pret’s HR hearings being quote, “fundamentally flawed”. The Judge further mentioned that the appeal’s hearings also were “fundamentally flawed”. This is a systemic problem in Pret since years as I have experienced and won’t change unless Pret is hit more seriously with high penalties. The peanuts Pret is always ordered to pay is a joke and doesn’t make them change the toxic foundation of this company.

Link to Tribunal Judge’s ruling on Pret’s flawed HR hearings, page 10 top check mark.

Page 15, point 57:
“In or around August 4, 2018 Gregorio sent Plaintiff a follow up email in which she shared the results of her investigation. Under the heading “Inappropriate Language” she confirmed that she was able to substantiate Plaintiff’s allegations that racial slurs are used in the shop. Under the heading “Hostile Work Environment” she confirmed that she was able to substantiate Plaintiff’s concerns…”
But only AFTER Plaintiff put her complaints in WRITING via email!

Page 15, point 58:
“Despite these findings, Pret did not terminate Ramos’s employment.”
Why should Pret fire him, they would have to fire the majority of the company!

Well done for Ms Battle with the cool name reflecting her fighting spirit to go all the way to court! In the U.S. it’s much easier to go to court than in the UK and Europe. Pret had to pay 4000 workers back TWICE after being sued in NY for not paying correct wages.

I explain in my interview in below audio player why I withdrew my court case against Pret. But I will never be silent about Pret A Manger’s toxic and corrupt work ethics behind their smiley PR facade!


I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
An incomplete list on what other Pret staff say about Pret’s bullying environment:
Caught in the Act Bullying at Pret.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by
The Adam Paradox, and wrote two articles in the Scottish Left Review.
Thank you for reading/listening.


Interview:

©2020 expret.org


Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org, poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.
©2017 – Present: expret.org, poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Pret A Manger’s NEW “Bang Bang Rip-Off Wrap”

A very light airy wrap with lots of room for imagination…

Get the popcorn out, put the kettle on… this will take a while!

Arrow

Recent updates not included here, but some are added underneath the slideshow. I stopped updating back in 2019 as this is ridiculous! But this is still going on in 2022.

Also, Pret social media team are instructed to always ask for DM. They don’t want to know which shop, as issues are systemic in Pret, but Pret want people’s data for future marketing. And then they make it hard to unsubscribe from emails. Check GDPR.

UPDATE 16.06.2022

More complaints added which are not in below slide and post. But these are just the tip of the iceberg, as not everyone complains publicly or with photos.

YouTube:

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For a full visual list: Pret A Manger Misleading Packaging and the Class Action vs Pret for Deceptive Packaging settled in New York February 2019, and a Tweet to a customer that Pret deleted after seeing my blog entry on the misleading packaging issue.

UPDATE:

New complaints keep coming that are NOT featured in above slideshow nor in below list as this is ridiculous. And keep in mind, not everyone complains on Twitter about it or makes photos. But I think you’ll get the picture that this is very common and the reason why Pret settled out of court as this would lead to more lawsuits easily:

To save space and scrolling time, a little collage (links underneath):

Air Wrap Collage

05. Dec. 2019

29. Nov. 2019

27. Nov. 2019 Boston, USA

27. Nov. 2019 Also USA, but Pret didn’t respond this time

15. Nov. 2019

21. Oct. 2019

19. Oct. 2019

10. Oct. 2019

2019-10-01 Air Wrap

TWO on 18.09.2019

2019-09-18 Air Wrap Victoria

Victoria

2019-09-18 Air Wrap

#Shrinkflation

2019-09-11 Air Wrap USA

2019-08-27 Air Wrap

27. Aug. 2019 USA

2019-08-21 Air Wrap

21. Aug. 2019

2019-09-09 Air Wrap

09. Aug. 2019

2019-08-07 Air Wrap

07. Aug. 2019

Since having settled the lawsuit, Pret’s having a laugh with a customer who helps them; the wrap looks like having been a little stretched out here:

2019-08-07 Air Wrap taking mick

Also 07. Aug. 2019

2019-08-06 Air Wrap

06. August 2019

NEW 2019-07-29 Air Wrap USA

29. July 2019

NEW 2019-07-26 Air Wrap

26. July 2019

NEW 2019-07-24 Air Wrap

24. July 2019

NEW 2019-07-10 Air Flat Wrap

10. July 2019

Some from 2014 that I missed 😉

2014-04-16 Air Wrap

16. Apr. 2014

2014-03-10 Air Wrap

10. Mar. 2014

to be continued unfortunately …


I worked at Pret A Manger for almost 10 years and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather starve and speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by The Adam Paradox, and wrote an article in the
Scottish Left Review.
Thank you for reading/listening.

Interview:

©2019 expret.org

Unless otherwise stated or linked to, this website and all writings within this site are the property of expret.org, poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org and are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Reproduction and distribution of my writings without written permission is prohibited.

©2017 – Present: expret.org, poetrasblok.com, LateNightGirl.org, LateNightGirl.Page.tl unless otherwise stated. All Rights reserved. Disclaimer.