Whole Foods employees protest dress code policy, hazard pay cuts

Multnomah County

Employee reportedly refused to stop wearing a pin that read "Racism has no place here"

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Whole Foods employees from several Portland-area locations gathered Sunday to protest a dress code policy that led to one worker’s resignation.

An employee reportedly refused to stop wearing a pin that read “Racism has no place here.” A Whole Foods spokesperson told KOIN 6 News the pin broke the company’s dress code because the slogan was not company-related.

They also said the employee is being paid through his resignation’s end date.

One employee at the chain’s Laurelhurst location — who did not want to be named — claims the slogan was already on display in the store. The employee added their co-worker’s resignation isn’t the only reason employees gathered to protest.

“We’re not making hazard pay — our hazard pay was cut before even the county reopened,” she said. “We’re not just bodies. We’re the ones at risk here and we’re generating more money than ever for our company.”

That employee explained her store’s been busier than usual during the pandemic and attendance policies penalize employees who do not come in because they feel unsafe.

One Whole Foods worker at the Pearl District location died from COVID-19 back in April.

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