Kroger Announces That They Will Be Paying Employees to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine
When COVID-19 first hit the United States of America and non-essential businesses closed, grocery stores were among the few stores that remained open. Grocery store employees have been considered essential workers from the beginning, right up there with delivery drivers and first responders.
Grocery stores were also among the first businesses to respond to the pandemic by implementing health and safety changes to their stores. They installed plexiglass barriers to protect their employees from customers. They started requiring employees and customers to wear face masks. They encouraged social distancing, some even putting marks on the floor near checkout lines to help customers stay 6-feet apart while waiting in line.
Kroger is now responding to COVID-19 by encouraging employees to get vaccinated for COVID-19. The grocery store chain, which has more than 500,000 employees across the United States, has said it will pay every employee who gets fully vaccinated for COVID-19 $100.
Kroger Chief Medical Officer Dr. Marc Watkins explained, “We know that the most effective defense against this pandemic comes in the form of the COVID-19 vaccine and the continuation of the rigorous safety precautions we’ve established across our stores, manufacturing facilities and supply chain. We are strongly encouraging all customers and associates to receive the vaccine to curb the spread of COVID-19, and we’ll do all we can to ensure they have access as soon as it’s available.””
Businesses can require employees to get vaccinated, but many are simply trying to encourage employees to get vaccinated instead of making it an actual requirement. After all, any employee can claim that they cannot be vaccinated due to religious or medical reasons. Kroger employees who choose not be to vaccinated can be eligible to receive the $100 if they complete a health and safety course.
Kroger is not the only company to offer employees compensation for getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Dollar General and McDonald’s will pay employees the equivalent of 4-hours of pay after they get vaccinated. Meanwhile, Aldi will give employees 2 hours of pay to get vaccinated.
Besides paying employees to get vaccinated, Kroger is also investing $50 million in rewards for employees. On February 11th, each “hourly frontline grocery, supply chain, manufacturing, pharmacy and call center associate” will receive a $100 store credit and 1,000 fuel points. This is in addition to the $100 employees will get after getting vaccinated.
Do you plan to get vaccinated for COVID-19 once the vaccine is available to you? Would it motivate you to get vaccinated if you were paid an extra $100?