Don't Talk About it: Whole Foods Workers Get Threats From Lawyers Over Sewer Leak

The Whole Foods cooperate website lists this as its company motto: "Open books, open doors, and open people." That's not the case Miami Beach.

A few days ago, Riptide posted a story about an employee who was fired for reporting a sewer spill . Management let the mess sit for a week, according to a federal safety complaint, and the testimonies of three workers. Now at least two "team members" say they have received threats from management and attorneys. The apparent goal: Get them to shut up.

Take this letter from Whole Foods attorney Christopher Wadsworth, for example. It's addressed to a former employee. He writes: "It has come to my attention you have approached at least one news publication... The purpose of this letter is to advise you cease and desist." It concludes: "If you fail to adhere to Whole Foods request, Whole Foods will pursue you by all available means under Florida Law." View documents here:



Not exactly encouraging an "open" dialog.

It's happening inside the store, too, a second employee writes. "I want to say this article is true...I wanted to speak to New Times when they came in [to the shop] but did not because our store leadership folks have been doing nothing but spending their time going through the store cameras trying to find out who did talk. It's scary that people like this run a company such as Whole Foods."

Indeed, Fortune magazine calls the corporation one of the "100 Best Companies to Work For" in the United States. Which makes Riptide wonder: Does Miami count as the United States?

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Natalie O'Neill
Contact: Natalie O'Neill