CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Kroger has announced bonuses for employees and expanded emergency leave amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Under the plan, frontline grocery, supply chain, manufacturing and customer service associates will receive a one-time bonus of $300 for full-time employees and $150 for part-time employees, according to a press release.
“Grocery workers are on the frontlines, ensuring Americans have access to the food and products they need during this unprecedented pandemic,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO. “Our associates are working around the clock to keep our stores open for our customers. I am incredibly grateful for all they are doing. The true heroes in this story are our associates, and we want to provide them with additional resources and support to help them continue their remarkable effort. In every decision we make, we strive to balance our most urgent mission – to be here for our communities when they need us most – with ensuring the safety of our associates, customers and communities.”
The special bonus will be paid to frontline associates who were hired on or before March 1, covers the payroll period March 8 – 28 and will be payable on April 3, the company said.
In addition, the company is expanding its 14-day COVID-19 emergency leave guidelines.
This will include paid time off for self-isolation and symptoms as verified by an accredited healthcare professional. This expands the new guidelines, announced on March 14, which allows paid time off for associates diagnosed with or placed under quarantine due to COVID-19. In each scenario, all associates will be eligible to receive their standard pay for up to two weeks (14 days), according to the release.
“We believe that by expanding our emergency leave guidelines, more of our associates can feel certain knowing that if their health is affected by or if they experience symptoms of COVID-19, they will be supported while they stay at home and recover,” said Tim Massa, Kroger’s senior vice president and chief people officer. “We are appreciative of all of our managers who have been working individually with associates in recognition that every associate’s situation is personal. We also want to make it easier for associates to follow our guidance to stay home if they feel sick and to do our part to flatten the curve.”
For people affected by COVID-19, the organization has also made available additional resources through the Kroger Family of Companies Helping Hands fund to provide financial assistance to associates who face hardship due to COVID-19, including lack of access to childcare and for those considered higher-risk, the statement said.