Additional $5 per hour for frontline grocery store workers during COVID-19 pandemic

City of San LeandroAt the Feb. 17 San Leandro City Council meeting, the City Council voted to enact a new urgency ordinance designed to support local retail grocery store workers.  Known as the Retail Food Worker Hazard Pay Ordinance, it requires grocery stores to compensate full-time and part-time employees with a temporary wage increase of five dollars per hour. The City Council adopted the urgency ordinance in recognition that frontline grocery workers are at greater risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus because of their public-facing job responsibilities.

“For nearly one year, grocery store workers have endured a challenging work environment brought upon them by the pandemic,” noted Vice Mayor Victor Aguilar. “They have performed at a high level while providing food and essential supplies to our residents. As I stated last night, this action will mitigate grocery workers’ overexposure to the COVID-19 virus because they will not have to work two to three jobs during this time. The City Council took this action in recognition of their critical work.”

The urgency ordinance applies to employees of any retail food establishments that employ 300 or more employees nationwide, regardless of where those employees are employed. It is structured to remain in effect for 120 days or so long as Alameda County is outside the Yellow tier under the current statewide health order framework, or until such time as most employees are vaccinated.

Preliminary records indicate that approximately 19 San Leandro businesses would be subject to the requirements, and approximately 2,105 workers would be eligible for the enhanced pay. The cities of Oakland, Montebello, and Long Beach passed similar ordinances earlier this year.

For a copy of the ordinance, please visit Meeting Central.