A new federal ruling says that Whole Foods must drop its policy that forbids employees from recording workplace conversations (otherwise known as gathering proof of worker mistreatment).

Last week, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that “smartphone pics and videos in this day and age are particularly ‘essential’ to proving an employee’s rights have been violated,” Grub Street reports. This is a win for Whole Foods workers, who’ve been trying to unionize since 2014, despite the company’s continued wage cuts and layoffs.

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Naturally, John Mackey, co-CEO of a company I prefer to call Whole Check, says the overpriced grocery chain isn’t anti-union as much as it is “beyond unions.” The NRLB disagrees and has sided with the two unions (the United Food and Commercial Workers and the Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago) that brought forward the recording complaint.

The chain has also recently agreed to pay $500,000 in settlement fees following a Department of Consumer Affairs investigation that found they were overcharging New York City customers earlier this year. According to Business Insider, this agreement comes with continued in-store audits to keep Whole Foods honest in upholding their pledge to stop marking up items.


Contact the author at Hillary@jezebel.com.

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