Grocery giant accused of wage theft in new lawsuit

Lincoln Jones-Hartman, Centerspread Editor

American grocery corporation Kroger has been accused of pocketing employee wages, a new lawsuit alleges. Employees of the grocery chain Fred Meyer have sued the parent company Kroger. These employees that are part of the lawsuit are located in various states, including Washington, Oregon, West Virginia and Virginia. Four class-action lawsuits have been filed as employees allege that, following the implementation of a new paycheck system in September of 2022, the corporation has been pocketing wages, leaving many employees allegedly unpaid.

A lawyer speaking on behalf of the Fred Meyer employees in Virginia and West Virginia, Rachel Nadas, spoke with Insider on January 27. 

“These are workers who are not in a position to have their paychecks reduced,” said Nadas. Minimum wage workers in the state of Virginia are paid $12 per hour, and in West Virginia they are paid at a rate of $8.75 an hour. It is the position of the workers involved in this lawsuit, as well as their lawyers, that they are not able to go without the paychecks they claim the corporation is withholding. 

A Fred Meyer employee in Portland, Oregon has also sued the parent company. Former employee Mike Papas stated that he has been denied two paychecks, and quit his job working at Fred Meyers, in light of this refusal of payment. “This is inexcusable. You’re hurting families. You’re taking money for people to pay, you know, feed their kids, feed their relatives,” Papas said.