Grocery Store Employees: Lidl is Endangering Our Lives

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NEW YORK, NY – Workers at the grocery chain Best Market have filed a complaint with the New York State Attorney General requesting that Lidl, the German firm that recently purchased the company, be investigated for their compliance with labor rules put in place for businesses deemed essential during the coronavirus pandemic. Gothamist reports that the workers are represented by LatinoJustice PRLDEF, a New York-based advocacy and civil rights group.

LatinoJustice PRLDEF originally complained to Lidl last month after several employees voiced concerns about their working conditions. Martha Veronica Guerra, a bakery manager at a store in Astoria, says she company did not inform her that a coworker with whom she worked in close proximity had tested positive for the coronavirus. She quarantined herself at home for the doctor-recommended 14 days, and was told by human resources that she would not be paid for her leave of absence.

Employees are demanding regular cleaning, information on and access to paid sick leave, and hazard pay.

On April 30, LatinoJustice PRLDEF and two other labor rights groups presented Lidl with a list of concerns, which they say were ignored. A statement from the attorney general’s office said that the complaint has been received but that they could not comment on an ongoing investigation.

The Astoria Best Market where Martha Veronica Guerra works.

Disclaimer: This is part of a series of articles provided by Finz & Finz, P.C., to help our fellow New Yorkers understand their rights during the coronavirus pandemic. Essential businesses have an obligation to provide safe working conditions to the employees whose work allows the rest of us to shelter in place. If you believe your employer has violated this obligation, we want to help you demand justice and receive just compensation. Contact us today to speak to one of our New York coronavirus attorneys.