Whole Foods

News & Analysis as of

Are Universal Proxy Ballots On the Way?

Improving the proxy process remains front and center at the SEC and continues to garner media headlines. A recent high-profile example was this past proxy season’s focus on proxy access shareholder proposals, including the...more

Consumer Class Action Suit Alleging Sales Tax Misconduct is Partially Dismissed

On June 15, 2015, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, partially granted Whole Foods’ motion to dismiss in the case of Wong v. Whole Foods Market Group, Inc.1 In that case,...more

Food Litigation Newsletter - May 2015

In This Issue: - RECENT SIGNIFICANT RULINGS ..Court Dismisses in Part “Natural” Claims ..Court Enters Partial Dismissal of “Handmade” Claims ..Court Dismisses Injunctive Relief Claim Allows...more

Employers Beware: You Cannot Always Trust Third-Party Provided Background Check Disclosure Forms

Does your company run background checks on its employees? Do you pay a third-party to run the reports and trust them to get it right? You may not be as safe as you think you are. Just ask Whole Foods, Paramount...more

Chicago Cubs Make News Again with Trademark Lawsuit

The Chicago Cubs have been in the news lately relating to its legal battle over its new advertising signs with the surrounding rooftop bars and investors. However, the Chicago Cubs have also initiated a brand new lawsuit...more

In Case You Missed It - Interesting Items for Corporate Counsel - April 2015

We knew someone would do this for us if we just waited long enough. A summary of early trends in proxy access responses suggests most are including the shareholder proposal and recommending a no vote. See here. Only a single...more

Stockholder access to nominate directors gains momentum in 2015 proxy season

Years of regulatory snarls and courtroom battles have left a complex, intertwined state and federal regulatory patchwork for proxy statements that has resulted in split approaches for stockholder proposals on one hand and...more

Broad Coalition Delivers Blunt Rebuke To SEC Chairman

Last month, I wrote that the SEC’s about face in responding to the no-action letter request of Whole Foods Market, Inc. “clearly wasn’t the SEC’s finest hour.” Several days later, a coalition of some 17 different...more

SEC Timeout on Proxy Access Issue Has Wider Implications

On January 16, 2015, the SEC withdrew its December 1, 2014 no-action letter in which it concurred with the view of Whole Foods Market, Inc. that the company was entitled under SEC Rule 14a-8(i)(9) to exclude from its proxy...more

Employers Running Background Checks: Top 10 Tips to Avoid Joining the Fair Credit Reporting Act Litigation “Club”

What do Whole Foods, Chuck E. Cheese, Michael’s Stores, Dollar General, Panera, Publix, and K-Mart have in common? Each of these companies has faced lawsuits (including class actions) under the Fair Credit Reporting Act...more

Food Litigation Newsletter - February 2015

In This Issue: - RECENT SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENTS AND RULINGS ..Another Greek Yogurt Case Against Whole Foods is Transferred ..Safeway’s Frozen Waffles Case Dismissed ..Individual Claims...more

SEC’s Rule 14a-8 Volte-Face Is Pointlessly Outré But It Does Have Real World Ramifications

Readers may recall that last December Whole Foods Market, Inc. had secured the SEC staff’s concurrence in excluding a shareholder access proposal submitted by Jim McRitchie. Then, SEC Chair Mary Jo White directed the staff...more

Proxy Access Update—Director of SEC Division of Corporation Finance Remarks on Decision to Suspend No-Action Relief Based on Rule...

On February 10, 2015, Keith Higgins, Director of the SEC Division of Corporation Finance, provided his informal views (available here) on the Division’s controversial decision to “express no views” on the application of...more

In Case You Missed It - Interesting Items for Corporate Counsel - February 2015

It’s still the case that commentators have said nothing revelationary about “proxy access ,” the recent private-ordering push, and the SEC’s flip-floppery on its Whole Foods no-action letter. “Proxy access” is short hand for...more

Proxy Access - Recent Developments

Recent activity by shareholder governance advocates and the SEC has thrust proxy access back into the spotlight. Here we provide a brief refresher on proxy access and our thoughts on recent developments....more

Withdrawal of Whole Foods No-Action Letter Leaves a Hole in Proxy Access Proposal Defense

On January 16, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that, for the 2015 proxy season, the Division of Corporation Finance will not express any views as to whether a company may exclude a shareholder...more

SEC Staff Will No Longer Issue No-Action Letters on Conflicting Shareholder Proposals During the 2015 Proxy Season

The staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Corporation Finance (the “SEC Staff”) recently announced that it would refuse to grant no-action relief during the 2015 proxy season to companies seeking...more

California AG Declares Whistleblower Tally A State Secret

Since 2004, the California Attorney General has been required to maintain a whistleblower hotline to receive calls from persons who have information regarding possible violations of state or federal statutes, rules, or...more

Corporate and Financial Weekly Digest - Volume X, Issue 3

In this issue: - SEC Chair Directs Staff to Review Commission Rule Excluding Conflicting Proxy Proposals - SEC Comments on FINRA's Proposed Rule Amendment to Increase Pricing Disclosure - CFTC Grants...more

The SEC’s Rule 14a-8 Process Just Became Even More Pointlessly Outré

Yesterday, Broc Romanek posted on SEC Chair Mary Jo White’s Friday surprise with respect the no-action letter request submitted by Whole Foods Market, Inc. Readers may recall that in December Whole Foods had obtained the...more

Food Litigation Newsletter - January 2015

In This Issue: - RECENT SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENTS AND RULINGS ..Extra Virgin Olive Oil Complaint Beats Motion to Dismiss ..Honest Tea Defeats Motion to Dismiss ..Gerber Wins Summary Judgment...more

‘Tis A “Bootless Labour” To Ask The Staff To Appeal Its Own No-Action Advice

In This “Appeal” Of Whole Foods’ No-Action Letter Isn’t Very Appealing, I wrote about Jim McRitchie’s attempt to “appeal” the staff’s decision with respect to the exclusion of his proxy access proposal to Whole Foods Market,...more

Institutional Investors Not Amused by Proxy Access Exclusions

Some public companies have requested the SEC to permit exclusion of proxy access proposals by stating the shareholder proposal directly conflicts with the issuers own proposal that will be included in the proxy statement. ...more

Proxy Access Proposals: Recent Developments

Recently, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, who oversees five municipal public pension funds with $160 billion in assets, announced an initiative to give shareholders who meet specified criteria the right to nominate...more

Blog: Whole Foods proxy access saga continues

In her NYT column this past Sunday, Gretchen Morgenson provides an interesting update on the saga of James McRitchie’s proxy access proposal submitted to Whole Foods....more

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