Whistleblower Lawsuit Charges Bon Appétit Management Company (BAMCO) with Fraudulent Food Assertions

Represented by The Armstrong Law Firm & the California Civil Rights Law Group, food executive files wrongful termination lawsuit claiming she was fired for calling attention to numerous false representations regarding the quality of food products BAMCO sells to the public.

Online PR News – 07-January-2014 –A lawsuit (Santa Clara County Superior Court, Case no. 1-14-cv-258626) filed by The Armstrong Law Firm and the California Civil Rights Law Group alleges that a prominent Bay Area on-site restaurant company fired a top executive for calling attention to the company’s fraudulent food claims. The wrongful termination lawsuit names Compass Group North America, doing business as Bon Appétit Management Company (BAMCO), and alleges that director-level manager Emily Miggins was terminated after she raised concerns numerous times about Bon Appétit’s failure to allegedly meet the firm’s stated Certified Humane and sustainable food standards.

BAMCO markets itself as a green company that sells environmentally-friendly, Certified Humane and sustainable food to its customers, including numerous Bay Area companies and schools. Through its contracts with Google, Yahoo!, Twitter, the San Francisco Giants, eBay, Inc., Oracle Corporation, the Exploratorium, Santa Clara University, the University of San Francisco, Mills College and Stanford University, BAMCO serves millions of meals to employees and visitors of these companies.

The lawsuit claims that Miggins was recruited from Safeway, Inc. and hired in January of 2013 by BAMCO as Director of Purchasing Strategy based on her successful track record as a Safeway senior manager and expert in commercial product development, food sourcing, supply-chain transparency, and corporate social and environmental sustainability.

The lawsuit further states that almost immediately upon being hired, Miggins observed that BAMCO made numerous false representations on its website regarding the quality of food products it sells to the public. The lawsuit claims BAMCO refused to acknowledge her complaints of false advertising, left the claims on the website, and then proceeded to retaliate against Miggins by terminating her for refusing to participate in fraudulent business practices.

According to the complaint, Miggins alleges that she alerted her supervisor that BAMCO was not meeting its advertised sustainability standards with the seafood it sold. Miggins also expressed concern that some of BAMCO's suppliers of its beef, chicken and eggs were not being transparent.

According to the complaint, Miggins alleges that she alerted her supervisor that BAMCO was not meeting its advertised sustainability standards with the seafood it sold. Miggins also expressed concern that some of BAMCO's suppliers of its beef, chicken and eggs were not being transparent.

The lawsuit claims BAMCO was not verifying the practices of the majority of its suppliers, and via marketing BAMCO made its practices sound much stronger than they actually were. For example, the lawsuit claims that Miggins brought forth website statements regarding BAMCO's claim that its chicken and turkey are raised without antibiotics important to human health, and reiterating that their suppliers commit to using no antibiotics when raising cattle for hamburger beef.

The lawsuit states that despite BAMCO’s representations, Miggins discovered that BAMCO was buying products that did not meet such strict standards, and passing them on to its customers. The lawsuit states that Miggins alerted BAMCO that it was doing business with suppliers who did not meet such standards.

According to the lawsuit, Miggins was silenced by BAMCO when they could not get her to change her position on Tyson chicken and its use of antibiotics. BAMCO quickly pulled her from speaking at a symposium of industry thought leaders that included green luminaries such as Michael Pollan and New York Times journalist Mark Bittman. The complaint goes on to state that Miggins’ supervisor and other BAMCO employees then engaged in defamation by stating to third parties that she was not competent in performing her job and other derogatory comments.

Less than a week before she was terminated, Miggins claims that she sent an email complaining that the website did not accurately reflect the company’s antibiotic usage policy and requesting that the problem be corrected. BAMCO is said to have rebuffed Miggins' requests again and terminated her employment.

Compass Group PLC, a British multinational contract food service firm, is the world’s largest contract food service company. BAMCO is owned by Compass Group and is a Palo Alto, California based on-site restaurant corporation that provides café and catering services to corporations, colleges, universities and museums.

Miggins seeks punitive damages against BAMCO so that BAMCO and other firms do not engage in business practices that hurt consumers.

Please contact Kelly Armstrong at The Armstrong Law Firm in San Francisco at (415) 928-1293 with additional queries.

About The Armstrong Law Firm (www.thearmstronglawfirm.com)
The Armstrong Law Firm uses the law to obtain justice and compensation for people who have been subjected to discrimination, harassment, intimidation or unfair employment practices in the workplace. Kelly Armstrong has represented clients in employment cases against the nation's largest companies for the past decade and her cases have been featured in the national and international media.

About The California Civil Rights Law Group (www.civilrightsca.com)
The California Civil Rights Law Group focuses on bringing important civil rights cases to trial throughout California. Accomplished trial lawyer Larry Organ has led the firm to significant jury verdicts in sexual harassment, race discrimination, retaliation and whistleblower cases.

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