Struggling market nixes disabled clerks

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A grocery store popping up throughout Santa Barbara County has gotten some bad press lately. Pacific Northwest grocery chain Haggen, which has replaced several Albertsons and Vons in Carpinteria, Goleta and Santa Barbara, has recently laid off dozens of workers, including 14 developmentally disabled employees at several of their stores. Many of these men and women had been working at the location for years, well before Haggen took over. Some held upper-level positions.

ADA advocacy group Pathpoint helped place those employees. Jaime Rutiaga, Manager of Employment Services at PathPoint joined KCRW’s Jonathan Bastian in studio along with Craig Renn, one of the 14 developmentally disabled clerks that were laid off.

The Independent reports Haggen claims to be hiring ex-employees and helping them find jobs elsewhere, but Rutiaga has not seen signs of this so far.