Former worker sues Fred Meyer, claims she was fired after reporting safety and sanitation concerns
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A former grocery store employee in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough is going to court after she claims she was fired for blowing the whistle on safety concerns.
Sandra Peschang worked at the Wasilla Fred Meyer since 2018 until she was fired in February of this year.
Peschang’s lawyer, James Davis, said that over a period of time, Peschang repeatedly raised safety concerns and sanitation issues to management at the store, and claims his client was ignored. Peschang reported the issues to the Alaska Labor Standards and Safety Division, he said.
This led to an investigation. The complaint document says Fred Meyer was given citations and was fined.
During the time after the investigation, Davis claims his client was mistreated by Fred Meyer management and later suspended, and then fired.
“And Fred Meyer knew it was Sandra, who made these reports, because Sandra had made the same reports to senior management, to Fred Meyer, previously, so they knew one plus one equals two. They knew Sandra did it,” Davis said. “So they did everything in their powers to drive her out of her employment, giving her crumby shifts, making her do heavier work, isolating her. And they succeeded by driving her out of her employment.”
According to the complaint document, Peschang was suspended and fired after an investigation into what the document labeled a “contrived incident” at the store that involved her handling of shoppers trying to leave without paying for items.
According to the complaint, Peschang is seeking punitive damages against Fred Meyer as well as the costs and expenses of litigation, including attorney fees.
Davis said Peschang enjoyed her job but felt it was necessary to tell management the conditions she was working around.
“She would have worked her whole career there, she was just a happy, hardworking,” Davis said.
Alaska’s News Source reached out to Fred Meyer’s corporate office about the case. A spokesperson said they don’t comment on pending litigation.
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