Grocery Hazard Pay

Mayor Mike Nelson Proposes Hazard Pay for Edmonds Grocery Store Workers
Posted on 04/02/2021
(Edmonds, WA)   Throughout the entirety of the COVID-19 emergency, grocery businesses have been operating in Edmonds and relying upon the work of grocery employees who are highly vulnerable to health and safety risks.

Grocery employees are essential workers performing services that are fundamental to the economy and health of the community during the COVID-19 crisis. They face clear and present dangers at their jobs and continue to risk their lives and the health of their families to keep our community’s food supply chain operating.

“My number one priority is keeping Edmonds safe and healthy. Grocery store employees serve a key role in our community for safe and reliable access to our food.  The proposed ordinance is critical to promoting job retention during the pandemic. Grocery workers are on the frontline working in a hazardous situation every day,” states Mayor Mike Nelson.

“Edmonds supports workforce practices that help ensure economic security and contribute to a fair, healthy, and vibrant economy.”

Locally, King County, the City of Seattle, and Burien, as well as several California municipalities, including Berkeley, Long Beach, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Los Angeles County, have announced legislative efforts to require hazard pay for grocery employees during the COVID-19 emergency. More cities are expected to announce similar legislation this year.

This ordinance would require grocery stores that employ 500 or more employees statewide to provide their employees with hazard pay of $4 per hour for each hour worked in Edmonds until the Governor has declared the State of Emergency in Washington has been lifted.  It applies to “grocery businesses” over 10,000 square feet in size primarily engaged in selling groceries for offsite consumption or businesses over 85,000 square feet in size with 30% or more of the sales floor dedicated to the sale of groceries. This ordinance does not apply to convenience stores, food marts, or farmers markets.

This ordinance will be presented to City Council for their review and approval on Tuesday, April 6th at their regularly scheduled 7pm meeting.