Vice: Whole Foods Worker Issues Under a Pandemic Come to a Head, “sick-out” planned
Many employees say the protections and policies Whole Foods has offered fail to protect workers as many workers do not have enough savings to stay home from work even if they’re sick and coronavirus tests remain in short supply.
“You can’t tell someone not to go to work if they’re sick, if they have to pay their rent in two days,” the Whole Foods worker in Chicago continued. “Our Whole Foods staff is on a skeleton crew right now. It’s the people who want to be working or the people who have no choice that are showing up. The portion of our workforce with any money in the bank is absent. Given the instability in our workforce, it gives me doubts that safety measures are carried out.”
That worker says multiple employees at his Chicago store plan to call out sick tomorrow.
One Whole Foods worker in New England who wished to remain anonymous told Motherboard that her doctor asked her to quarantine for two weeks after she experienced coronavirus symptoms, but Whole Foods has refused to accept her doctor’s note or provide her with sick leave because her symptoms were not severe enough for her to get tested and she did not travel to an area with a coronavirus outbreak.
“My doctor asked me to quarantine for two weeks and I haven’t been able to get paid time off,” the worker said. “Whole Foods said we wouldn’t get it unless we got a positive test. There are a lot of people in my situation who aren’t receiving time off. It’s hard to imagine that those who couldn’t afford to do so would stay home. Whole Foods says if you’re feeling better, you should come to work.”