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Coronavirus

Seattle Joins Other Cities in Approving Extra Pay for Grocery Store Workers

January 26, 2021

SEATTLE — Seattle has joined other cities in approving extra pay for grocery store workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The City Council on Monday approved legislation requiring large grocery stores to pay an extra $4 an hour in hazard pay. The Seattle Times reports the legislation passed 8-0, clearing a requirement that it receive a three-quarter super-majority in order to go into effect immediately.

Mayor Jenny Durkan called the policy “a strong step forward in Seattle’s recovery.”

The new requirement applies to grocery companies with more than 500 employees worldwide and to stores larger than 10,000 square feet. It does not apply to convenience stores or farmers markets.

Covered businesses will have to pay their retail employees $4 an hour on top of the pay they currently receive as long as the city’s coronavirus civil emergency remains in effect.

The California cities of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Berkeley have within the past month forwarded or approved similar “hazard pay” boosts for grocery workers.

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