Class Action Lawsuit Accuses Bi-Rite Grocery Chain of Wage Abuse and Violations

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Bi-Rite, a local grocery chain in San Francisco, is facing a class action lawsuit filed by workers on January 3. The lawsuit accuses the store of violating rest break and wage statement regulations, as well as failing to provide proper overtime pay and meal and rest breaks. The former employee leading the lawsuit claims that Bi-Rite has engaged in a pattern of wage abuse against its hourly-paid and non-exempt employees. The plaintiffs are seeking compensation and a trial by jury.

In another legal battle, the city of Berkeley has lost its fight to keep its natural gas ban in place. The ban, which was the first of its kind in the nation, was approved by Berkeley in 2020. However, it was challenged by the California Restaurant Association and ultimately struck down last year. Despite Berkeley’s efforts to appeal the decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit rejected the city’s petition to re-hear the case on Tuesday. Unless the Supreme Court decides to review the case, the initial ruling that the gas ban is illegal will stand.

The Fillmore District in San Francisco is set to lose its Safeway store. The grocery chain announced plans to sell the 3.68-acre property to Align Real Estate, who will develop housing and retail space on the site. The Safeway store will close in early March, and it is unclear if another grocery store will be included in the upcoming development. However, a new Trader Joe’s located nearby is expected to alleviate some of the impact of the Safeway closure when it opens in the coming months.

In the restaurant industry, infamous restaurateur Luisa Hanson has opened a new establishment in San Francisco. The restaurant, known as Luisa’s, is located at 1001 Guerrero Street and has been in the works since 2020. Hanson, who is now 94 years old, has a controversial history in the San Francisco restaurant world, with numerous lawsuits and a bankruptcy filing in 2009. Luisa’s is open daily for dinner.

Overall, Bi-Rite is facing a class action lawsuit for alleged wage and break violations, Berkeley has lost its battle to maintain a natural gas ban, the Safeway in the Fillmore District is set to close, and Luisa Hanson has opened a new restaurant in San Francisco. The outcomes of these cases and the impact on the local community remain to be seen.