business news in context, analysis with attitude

The San Jose Mercury News reports that Redwood City, California, just south of San Francisco, has become the latest municipality "to require temporary hazard pay for grocery and pharmacy workers … City council members voted unanimously to require all grocery stores and pharmacies with more than 750 employees nationwide to give $5 an hour in extra hazard pay to workers because of the COVID-19 pandemic. That means employees at stores such as Nob Hill, Rite Aid, Safeway, Whole Foods and Target in Redwood City will get a boost in pay until July 11."

The rule only applies to companies with more than 750 employees nationwide.

According to the story, "The measure comes after more than a dozen other cities across Northern California passed similar measures, including Millbrae, San Mateo and South San Francisco on the Peninsula. Colma and San Carlos are also considering doing the same.

KC's View:

This continues to be bad public policy that seems patently unfair in how it lumps different kinds of companies together while differentiating between employees who work in some segments of retail from others.

The story says that proponents say that "the increase in pay will go a long way to show essential workers who risk their health by interacting with the public that their work is valued."  Which I agree with … but it ought to be up to the companies to decide how much appreciation to show above and beyond minimum and negotiated wages.