Whole Foods Allegedly Fired Poop Leak Whistleblower

December 8, 2011

Representatives from the Occupational Safety & Health Administration have filed a lawsuit on behalf of a former Whole Foods employee who was allegedly fired for reporting her concerns about a raw sewage leak to the company. The suit asks for "full benefits; paying back wages, punitive damages and compensatory damages" for the former employee. 

Trouble began on November 1, 2009 when a Miami Beach Whole Foods branch sprung a leak in their sewage system. According to the lawsuit, store employees did nothing to remedy the situation, prompting the whistleblower to alert a supervisor. When nothing more was done, she called an anonymous hotline to report her concerns. Additional complaints to another supervisor still yielded little action. Why so pressing? Apparently the line continued to leak raw sewage into the bathrooms and "specialty cheese section" of the store. The store allegedly did nothing to fix the leak and opted to instead use lots of air freshener. Whole Foods fired her on November 5 for "making false and malicious statements." 

The company responded to the lawsuit on Eater. They denied all charges and claimed the leak was cleaned up immediately. "We deny that she was retaliated against. It is important to note that she was not the first or only person to report the problem. At all times, the areas of the store open to customers were clean and safe," a Whole Foods rep named Libba said on Eater. 

Something still stinks here. 

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