Rivera v. Whole Foods Market Group, Inc.

On May 22, 2014, Alberto Rivera filed a class action against Whole Foods Market Group, Inc. in the Supreme Court of New York, County of New York, which is case number 651559/2014.

Who are the class action members?

The lawsuit is brought on behalf of all individuals whom Whole Foods employs or has employed as delivery personnel at any time since May 21, 2008 in the State of New York.

What is the claim?

The lawsuit alleges the following cause of action on behalf of the delivery personnel.

Unlawfully retained gratuities under the New York Labor Law

This claim concerns the mandatory delivery charge Whole Foods charges its customers.  As alleged in the Complaint, Whole Foods customers reasonably believe this charge is the delivery personnel’s gratuity and therefore infrequently give the delivery personnel gratuities.  Yet Whole Foods retains 100% of the delivery charge and does not remit any of that money to the delivery personnel.  The Complaint accordingly alleges that Whole Foods is liable to the delivery personnel for the delivery charges they have unlawfully retained.

Case Status:

  • On May 21, 2014, Plaintiff filed the Complaint.
  • On July 3, 2014, Whole Foods filed a Notice of Removal, removing the lawsuit to the U.S. District Court Southern District of New York.
  • On August 8, 2014, the case was remanded back to New York Supreme Court
  • On January 22, 2015, Plaintiff moved for class certification.
  • On October 19, 2016, the Court granted preliminary approval of the class-wide settlement agreement
  • On December 2, 2016, the Court-approved Settlement Notice was mailed to the Class Members
  • On March 14, 2017, the Plaintiff moved for the Court to grant final approval of the Settlement Agreement
  • On March 31, 2017, the Court held a final fairness hearing on the Settlement
  • On July 12, 2017, the Court entered its order granting final approval of the settlement.

What does this mean? Settlement payments, pending any appeals, will be issued by August 21.

*This update is based solely on information that is publicly available and is current as of July 1y, 2017.