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Haggen's accused of retaliation by a whistleblowing ex-employee

Many California readers may be familiar with the Haggen supermarket chain to do their shopping. A former employee of the grocery store claims that she faced retaliation and lost her job after she alerted her superiors to problems with pricing inside the store. She has since filed a claim against Haggen in a state court.

The Haggen grocery chain purchased 146 Safeway and Albertsons stores as part of a merger of which 83 of those stores were converted in California. This is when the plaintiff claims that all of her problems began. The plaintiff was a pricing specialist and was responsible for making sure that prices were correct in the stores. After the conversion to Haggen, she began to notice that items were scanning for a higher price than was advertised on the shelves.

The plaintiff brought the discrepancies to the attention of a worker who oversees pricing at several locations. The woman claims that this type of false advertising was wrong ethically, and it was against state and federal laws. Several weeks went by and allegedly no changes were made, so the plaintiff took the problem to an executive to get the problem solved.

Following her complaint, the plaintiff was scolded by two of her superiors for reporting the problem. She also claims that a manager at a California location was to instructed to get her fired in retaliation. The plaintiff knew she could retire, but she wanted to work a few more years. However, out of fear of getting terminated, she resigned on her own. The plaintiff is seeking monetary damages for her claim against Haggen.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Former Haggen employee accuses grocer of misleading customers on prices", Shan Li, Sept. 3, 2015

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