Whole Foods Market Group Inc. faces a proposed class action filed by a former team member who claims workers at the grocery chain’s New York locations should have been paid every week instead of every 14 days.
The plaintiff, who worked in Whole Foods’ produce department between July 2016 and May 2020, says her duties as a team member included unloading produce from boxes and crates and placing the products throughout the store. The woman argues that she and other team members were considered manual workers given they spent more than 25 percent of their time performing physical labor.
According to the case, the New York Labor Law specifies that manual workers must be paid “not later than seven days after the end of the week in which the wages are earned.” Despite this requirement, the plaintiff and other hourly paid team members were compensated every 14 days instead of every week, the suit says. The plaintiff believes that Whole Foods applies the same policy and practice to all of its New York employees.
“In paying them every 14 days, Whole Foods did not pay team members for the first week they worked within the pay period within seven days,” according to the suit.
The lawsuit looks to certify a class comprised of anyone who worked for Whole Foods as a team member or in a similar position in New York County and Bronx County at any time since June 5, 2014.
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