Whole Foods workers upset by reinstated time, attendance policy: Report

Some employees are not pleased with disciplinary action taken by the national grocery chain

As the country continues to inch closer to reopening, American businesses are attempting to return to “normal.”

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This includes Whole Foods Market, which has reinstated its point-based time and attendance policy to the ire of some employees, according to a report from Business Insider.

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According to the policy, workers who are late or absent from their scheduled shifts receive points. Accruing up to three points warrants a counseling session with a manager and five points warrant a final warning and six points means termination. Typically, accrued points fall off an employee’s record after six months.

Whole Foods has suspended the policy at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

In recent weeks, the time and attendance policy has been reinstated at Whole Foods stores throughout the country with a 111-day extension for any points that were accrued before March 3 – a move that has surprised and angered employees who would have had their points expire otherwise.

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Amber Schottky, a Whole Foods worker in Chicago told Business Insider that she found out a point she had received in December did not expire after she received another point and had to sign a counseling statement for coming in late on June 27.

"I looked at the sheet and saw points that were supposed to drop off and hadn't," she told the news outlet. "I had worked really hard the last couple months ... It felt like whiplash."

Schottky did not immediately respond to FOX Business’s request for comment. Other anonymous employees expressed they were not happy to see the points carry over, including a manager who said they feel bad having to carry out disciplinary action while the pandemic continues.

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However, a Whole Foods spokesperson told FOX Business that the company notified employees about its reinstated policy.

In recent weeks, the time and attendance policy has been reinstated at Whole Foods stores throughout the country with a 111-day extension for any points that were accrued before March 3. (iStock)

“During the early days of COVID-19, we temporarily paused our Time & Attendance policy as a whole, including corrective action, in order to allow Team Members to have unlimited call-outs from work, during the height of the pandemic,” the spokesperson wrote via email. “The pause was extended on two occasions and was reinstated on June 22nd, which was communicated in advance to all Team Members.”

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During the pandemic, Whole Foods introduced policies that aim to support workers who have been affected by the coronavirus.

Employees who are exhibiting coronavirus or foodborne illness symptoms will not be subject to “corrective action.” Those who are sick are also encouraged to stay home. Additionally, Whole Foods employees are eligible for two weeks of paid time off if they have received a confirmed or presumed coronavirus diagnosis or have been placed under quarantine. Unpaid personal leave of absence is available for employees who are classified as high risk or live with someone who is.

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More than 6.39 million Americans have been infected by the novel coronavirus at the time of publication, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University. More than 191,700 Americans have died because of the respiratory virus.