Urge Kroger shareholders to take a stand
We're reaching out to Kroger’s key shareholders with an urgent request.
Kroger has been faced with much scrutiny since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Numerous proxy fights have been waged against the supermarket giant including criticism over working conditions, the refusal to extend hazard pay for its once deemed essential workers, the stark gap between CEO and worker compensation as well as associates facing food insecurity and homelessness, calling into question whether associates are making a living wage. In addition they have faced allegations as to the violation of the basic human rights of their employees.
One egregious example involves a dedicated exemplary Kroger employee of 19 years named Evan Seyfried of Ohio, who took his life on March 9, 2021 after a six month campaign of workplace bullying and organizational mobbing. He was psychologically harassed and psychologically abused by two store managers and various coworkers. According to the lawsuit, Evan reported the relentless behavior he endured via Kroger’s internal channels. Kroger made no attempt to address, intervene, or shield Evan from the incessant mental torment he was subjected to daily, nor did they make any attempt to investigate, on its face, a hostile and abusive work environment.
Employers are not legally liable for the psychological safety of their employees and as such, Kroger chose to avoid liability over Evan’s well-being, imposing willful blindness and deafness amplifying the abuse he was subjected to — practices that are unquestionably inhumane and unethical. Kroger has yet to address Evan’s death or discipline the employees responsible for it.
Justice for Evan was founded last July by Jana L. Murphy directly after a wrongful death lawsuit was filed against Kroger and the two store managers involved.
As new stories continue to pour in from current and former Kroger employees across the country, it’s clear that current Kroger leadership has repeatedly failed to provide a safe work environment — mandated by various laws at all levels of our government. Kroger needs a new CEO, Lead Independent Director, and Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Labor Relations with the expertise, skill set, and conviction to truly acknowledge the company’s toxic culture and genuinely implement necessary changes.
We at Justice for Evan call for official statements from Kroger that recognize the seriousness of these allegations and demonstrate compassion for Evan Seyfried and other victims of psychological harassment, psychological abuse, discrimination, and other human rights violations experienced while working at Kroger.
We further demand that Rodney McMullen, Ronald Sargent, and Timothy Massa resign immediately.
We call on Kroger’s executive leadership team to work with us to develop new and meaningful efforts that ensure employees — as well as our community — have a safe place to work and to speak out and come forward about the abuse they’ve experienced.
If Kroger does not act, we ask that shareholders:
Vote against reelection of the current directors on the board at the next annual shareholder meeting.
Drastically reduce their shares to hold Kroger accountable for their actions.
Urge other shareholders to take the same action.
We stand with Justice for Evan, the Seyfried family, Evan’s friends and coworkers, as well as members of the community who have experienced violations of human dignity in the workplace.
Kroger must be held accountable.