Kroger provides ‘hero bonus’ to front line employees

Coronavirus

CINCINNATI – JULY 15: A sign identifies the Kroger Co. corporate headquarters July 15, 2008 in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. Kroger is one of the nation’s largest grocery retailers, with fiscal 2007 sales of over $70 billion. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The Kroger Family of Companies announced Tuesday that it will provide all hourly front line grocery, supply chain, manufacturing, pharmacy and call center associates with what they call a “hero bonus.”

The bonus is a $2 premium above employees’ standard base rate of pay. Kroger says it will be applied to hours worked March 29 through April 18 and will be disbursed weekly.

“Our associates have displayed the true actions of a hero, working tirelessly on the front lines to ensure everyone has access to affordable, fresh food and essentials during this national emergency,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO. “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.”

Kroger says it is taking several the following actions in addition to the hero bonus to support employees during this time:

  • 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.
  • Beginning 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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