University of Michigan Law School
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Case Name Franklin v. Whole Foods EE-NY-0296
Docket / Court 1:20-cv-04935 ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Case Summary
In April 2019, the plaintiff applied to work for Whole Foods' Manhattan-area delivery service. As part of their hiring procedure, Whole Foods, which is owned by Amazon, conducted a background check. Upon learning about plaintiff's criminal history, Whole Foods denied plaintiff a job, despite there ... read more >
In April 2019, the plaintiff applied to work for Whole Foods' Manhattan-area delivery service. As part of their hiring procedure, Whole Foods, which is owned by Amazon, conducted a background check. Upon learning about plaintiff's criminal history, Whole Foods denied plaintiff a job, despite there being no other issues with plaintiff's application.

On June 6, 2020, the plaintiff brought a class action suit against Whole Foods and Amazon. Represented by private counsel, the plaintiff brought suit under three state human rights laws that restrict employers' ability to deny employment on the basis of applicants' criminal histories. The plaintiff sought statutory damages, exemplary and punitive damages, injunctive and/or declaratory relief, pre-judgment and post-judgment interest, and reasonable attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses.

In response to defendant Whole Food's September 4 motion to dismiss, the plaintiff has until September 25, 2020 to file an amended complaint. The case is ongoing.

Sara Denbo - 09/18/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Retailer
Discrimination-area
Hiring
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action State Anti-Discrimination Law
State law
Defendant(s) Amazon.com, Inc.
Whole Foods Market Group, Inc.
Plaintiff Description An individual job applicant who was denied employment based on criminal history seeking to represent a class of similarly situated individuals
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status outcome Pending
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 06/26/2020
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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Court Docket(s)
S.D.N.Y.
09/11/2020
1:20-cv-04935
EE-NY-0296-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
S.D.N.Y.
06/26/2020
Class Action Complaint [ECF# 1]
EE-NY-0296-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
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Judges Caproni, Valerie Elaine (S.D.N.Y.) show/hide docs
EE-NY-0296-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Guldmann, Rony (New York) show/hide docs
EE-NY-0296-9000
Lee, C.K. (New York) show/hide docs
EE-NY-0296-0001 | EE-NY-0296-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Hart, Grace Elizabeth (New York) show/hide docs
EE-NY-0296-9000
Schwartz, Jason C. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
EE-NY-0296-9000

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