Lawsuit accuses Whole Foods of cheating employees out of bonuses

Bah Humbug!

Whole Foods is in hot water this holiday season for purportedly cheating its employees out of end-of-year bonuses, according to a class-action lawsuit filed this week in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by plaintiffs Michael Molock and Randal Kuczor.

The suit, which was filed on Tuesday, alleges that the grocery chain "engaged in a nationwide scheme to strip hard-working employees of earned bonuses in order to maximize their own profit."

The company stipulates a "gainsharing" program that allows employees in underperforming departments to receive bonuses -- but the lawsuit claims that the grocer is avoiding paying up by shuffling labor costs and creating "fast teams" of employees who float from team to team.

RELATED: Whole Foods stores across the country

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Whole Foods around the country
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Whole Foods around the country
A customer enters the Whole Foods Market in Superior, Colorado United States July 26, 2017. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
Tomatoes are pictured at a Whole Foods store in San Diego, California, U.S., August 28, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Grass-fed beef products are pictured at a Whole Foods Market in Pasadena, California, U.S., July 24, 2017. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
Cut vegetables for sale are pictured inside a Whole Foods Market in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S. June 16, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
An organic chicken is seen for sale above an explanation of animal treatment standards at a Whole Foods Market in Medford, Massachusetts, U.S., July 24, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Juice drinks for sale are pictured inside a Whole Foods Market in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S. June 16, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
A sign explains animal treatment standards in the meat department at a Whole Foods Market in Medford, Massachusetts, U.S., July 24, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Hummus for sale is pictured inside a Whole Foods Market in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S. June 16, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Customers walk by the Whole Foods Market in Boulder, Colorado May 10, 2017. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
The inside of a Whole Foods Market is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S. June 16, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
A Whole Foods Market is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S. June 16, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Customers are seen outside a Whole Foods Market in Austin, Texas, U.S. December 14, 2016. REUTERS/Mohammad Khursheed
The inside of a Whole Foods Market is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S. June 16, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Jeff Turnas, President of 365 by Whole Foods Market, walks through a 365 by Whole Foods Market grocery store ahead of its opening day in Los Angeles, U.S., May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
The salad bar is pictured at a 365 by Whole Foods Market grocery store ahead of its opening day in Los Angeles, U.S., May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
An employee checks packaged meat at a 365 by Whole Foods Market grocery store ahead of its opening day in Los Angeles, U.S., May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
Express cashier kiosks are pictured at a 365 by Whole Foods Market grocery store ahead of its opening day in Los Angeles, U.S., May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
Customers check out at a Whole Foods Market in New York City, U.S., February 7, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
The inside of a Whole Foods Market is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S. June 16, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
A view of fruit and vegetables in a Whole Foods Market shop in London.
A view of cheese in a Whole Foods Market shop in London.
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Plaintiffs also claim that the practice was implemented nationwide, and "at least 20,000 (potentially many more) past and present employees" were affected.

"I've seen what these people have gone through for 13 years -- they've poured their heart and soul into their jobs for most part," Kuczor, who was laid off last November, told the Washington Post. "It's sad and disappointing that, having worked there for so long, they are victims of corporate greed."

A Whole Foods spokesperson told the Post that the company is investigating the allegations, and that "all necessary steps" will be taken following the inquiry.

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Best things to buy at Whole Foods
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Best things to buy at Whole Foods

Freshly baked bread 

Photo: Getty

365 Everyday Value Greek Yogurt

Photo: Getty

Speciality cheeses

Photo: Getty

Oats, grains and beans in the DIY bulk section

Photo: Getty

Frozen foods, i.e. pizza and turkey burgers 

Photo: Getty

Alternative milk products

Photo credit: Getty

Frozen berries

Photo: Shutterstock

Raisins and dry fruit in the DIY bulk section

Photo: Getty

Spices in the DIY bulk section 

Photo: Getty

365 Everyday Value Olive Oil

Photo: Getty

Freshly baked goods from the bakery section 

Photo: Shutterstock

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