Business

Whole Foods ending health benefits for part-time workers

By Gary Dinges gdinges@gatehousemedia.com
Posted: Sep. 13, 2019 12:08 pm Updated: Sep. 13, 2019 2:17 pm

Hundreds of part-time Whole Foods Market employees just got some incredibly bad news.

The grocery chain, which is owned by e-commerce giant Amazon, will no longer provide them with access to health insurance as of Jan. 1, according to Business Insider.

The move affects about 2% of the retailer's workforce. Whole Foods says it has 95,000 workers worldwide.

Previously, anyone who worked more than 20 hours each week could buy health insurance through Whole Foods.

Full-time employees will retain their health insurance, a company spokesperson told Business Insider.

 

"In order to better meet the needs of our business and create a more equitable and efficient scheduling model, we are moving to a single-tier part-time structure," Whole Foods said in a written statement. "The small percentage of part-time Team Members in the second tier who previously opted into medical benefits through Whole Foods Market’s healthcare plan — less than 2% of our total workforce — will no longer be eligible to buy into medical coverage through the company. We are providing Team Members with resources to find alternative healthcare coverage options, or to explore full-time, healthcare-eligible positions starting at 30 hours per week. All Whole Foods Market Team Members continue to receive employment benefits including a 20% in-store discount.”

Based in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods was acquired by Amazon in 2017. The chain has 504 stores in the U.S., the United Kingdom and Canada.

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