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.
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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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