Kroger adds ‘hero bonus’ for employees working during coronavirus concerns

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Who is hiring during the coronavirus pandemic?

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Kroger has announced a bonus for all hourly frontline grocery, supply chain, manufacturing, pharmacy and call center associates at its family of stores.

The grocery chain said it will add $2 an hour “hero bonus” to their base pay for hours worked March 29 through April 18. The premium will be disbursed weekly to ensure associates have access to additional cash.

The hourly bonus is in addition to a one-time $300 bonus that will be paid out to all full-time employees this Friday and a one-time $150 bonus that will be paid out to all part-time employees the same day.

“Our associates have displayed the true actions of a hero, working tirelessly on the frontlines to ensure everyone has access to affordable, fresh food and essentials during this national emergency,” Kroger chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen said in a statement issued late Tuesday evening.

“The Hero Bonus is just one more way we continue to convey our thanks and gratitude not only to our existing associates but also to the more than 30,000 new hires who have joined in the past two weeks and those who will soon join the Kroger Family of Companies.”

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The Kroger Co. Family of Stores includes:

• Baker’s

• City Market

• Dillons

• Food 4 Less

• Foods Co

• Fred Meyer

• Fry’s

• Gerbes

• Harris Teeter

• Jay C Food Store

• King Soopers

• Kroger

• Owens Market

• Pay-Less Super Markets

• QFC

• Ralphs

• Smith’s Food and Drug

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In addition to the bonuses, Kroger said it is taking several additional actions:

• Ensuring associates who are affected by COVID-19 — whether experiencing symptoms and self-isolating, diagnosed or placed in quarantine – can recover with the support of emergency paid leave.

• Starting next week, the Kroger Family of Companies is adding ExpressPay, a new benefit that allows most hourly associates to access some of their pay faster, putting money in their pockets sooner than usual.

• Making $5 million available for those facing hardship, including lack of access to childcare and for those considered higher-risk, due to COVID-19 through the Kroger Family of Companies Helping Hands fund.

• Offering an associate hotline to answer benefit questions quickly.

• Providing access to mental health services and other benefits to support associates’ mental and physical well-being during this stressful time.

• Supporting associates by onboarding more than 30,600 new hires in the last two weeks, including workers from the hardest-hit sectors like restaurants, hotels and food service distributors.

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