Kroger workers say grocery chain is pocketing their paychecks in new lawsuit: 'This is wage theft, plain and simple'
Kroger workers claim the grocery giant garnished paychecks and failed to pay overtime.
"These are workers who are not in a position to have their paychecks reduced," one attorney told Insider.
A union representing Kroger employees is seeking reports of wage theft.
Kroger workers filed a class-action lawsuit against the company, claiming the grocery chain garnished paychecks and failed to pay wages after it implemented a new payroll system in 2022.
The lawsuit filed January 19 alleges workers were not paid for overtime, had their paychecks garnished, and in one case claims a worker was not paid throughout their entire tenure with the company.
"These are workers who are not in a position to have their paychecks reduced," Rachel Nadas, an attorney representing the Kroger workers, told Insider Friday.
Kroger operates 2,700 stores across 35 states. A spokesperson for the company did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
The suit revolves around claims of wage theft at Kroger-owned stores in Virginia and West Virginia following the implementation of a new payroll system, MyTime, according to the suit. Four workers named in the lawsuit claim their wages have been impacted since the system was introduced last year.
More than 1,000 Kroger workers have reported payroll problems, according to a press release from United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400 Union, which represents thousands of Kroger employees in the region.
"This is wage theft, plain and simple," Union President Mark Federici said in the release issued last week. "When you work for an employer, you should be compensated completely and correctly for every minute you work, and if you aren't, then your employer is stealing from you."
One former Kroger worker, Sharon Simpson, claimed in the lawsuit that she was never paid for any of the nearly 80 hours of work she performed for the company during her five-week tenure.
Another employee, Lori Dalton, claimed Kroger deducted her spousal copay twice in several paychecks throughout 2022, leading her to lose hundreds in wages.
The lawsuit claims "hundreds of workers have reported problems receiving proper payment," adding that Kroger is aware the implementation of MyTime has resulted in underpayments to employees.
"Kroger has been made aware of these issues, but has failed to correct them," reads the suit.
Nadas said she and the team of attorneys handling the case hope to recover lost wages and receive damages for the Kroger workers affected. She said the lawsuit will also aim to add more plaintiffs, as the union continues to accept reports of wage theft on its website.
"We just really hope that we can get justice for all the workers who have been affected by this," Nadas said.
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