Whole Foods is shaving down some workers' paid breaks from 15 minutes to 10 minutes, the latest in a string of changes to employees' benefits
Whole Foodsis shaving down employees' paid breaks from 15 minutes to 10 minutes in several parts of the US, according to Vice.
- In addition, the grocery chain is mandating a 30-minute unpaid break if employees' shifts exceeds a certain number of hours.
- The changes will amount to workers losing more than 40 hours of paid break time each year, and the mandated, unpaid break could result in employees working longer hours for the same amount of money, Vice reports.
- The policy is among several changes Whole Foods has made to employee benefits over the last two years, including a implementing stricter dress code, cutting healthcare benefits for part-time workers, and ended hazard pay during the pandemic.
- "This updated policy will provide the vast majority of Team Members with more break time throughout their workday," a Whole Foods spokesperson told Insider. "It is part of our ongoing work to streamline regional policies and processes in order to create clear and uniform policies for Team Members across all regions."
Whole Foods is chopping break times for some of its employees from 15 minutes to 10 minutes, the latest in a string of changes at the Amazon-owned grocer.
According to Vice's Lauren Kaori Gurley, Whole Foods has issued a new policy for workers in parts of Southern California, the Midwest, the Mid-Atlantic region, and the South, trimming paid breaks during their shifts. Rather than two 15-minute paid breaks per eight-and-a-half-hour shift, those workers will now have 20 minutes total per shift.The policy also requires workers to take a 30-minute unpaid break if their shift exceeds a certain number of hours.
A Whole Foods spokesperson told Insider said the new policy is intended to provide more breaks for workers."This updated policy will provide the vast majority of Team Members with more break time throughout their workday," the spokesperson said. "It is part of our ongoing work to streamline regional policies and processes in order to create clear and uniform policies for Team Members across all regions."
The new rules come as
In the early weeks of the coronavirus outbreak, Whole Foods offered employees hazard pay for working on the front lines of a pandemic. But the program ended last June and has not been reinstated, despite COVID cases in the US continuing to rise. The company gave employees a $500 bonus in July and a holiday bonus of up to $300.
And in November, Whole Foods announced a new dress code that placed stricter limits on what employees could wear to work. Employees told Insider at the time that the new policy was bringing down morale and that it felt like the company was "cracking down on overall enjoyment."Whole Foods employees, and grocery store workers more broadly, have been on the front lines of the pandemic for roughly 10 months. As of November, more than 17,400
As COVID cases ticked up again in the fall and the holidays brought increased traffic into stores, Whole Foods workers told Insider that they were feeling scared, stressed out, and exhausted.
It's led grocery workers across the country to stage protests demanding hazard pay from companies like Kroger, Giant, Safeway, and Whole Foods, and has led to calls from Whole Foods employees to unionize.Got a tip? Contact Insider reporter Avery Hartmans via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Twitter DM (@averyhartmans). We can keep sources anonymous.
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