Whole Foods Market is being sued by one former and one current employee of a Washington, D.C. store, alleging that the company cheated them out of bonuses. Last week, Whole Foods said that nine managers at stores in Maryland, Virginia and the District were fired for gaming the chain’s “gainsharing” program, which awards bonuses to employees whose departments come in under budget. The lawsuit alleges that Whole Foods avoided paying these bonuses by shifting labor costs to other departments and creating “fast teams,” or employees that “float from one department to another.”
Total Retail’s Take: A spokeswoman for Whole Foods has replied to the lawsuit, stating that the company is investigating the allegations. The lawsuit seeks $200 million in punitive damages and triple unpaid wages — among other relief — and alleges that as many as 20,000 employees were affected. This the second retailer in recent weeks that’s being sued for shorting employees. Bed Bath & Beyond was sued by a group of New Jersey employees who claim the company has been shorting its employees of overtime pay for years.