Seattle City Council approves hazard pay for grocery store workers

The Seattle City Council unanimously voted Monday to approve legislation that will provide hazard pay for grocery store workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The legislation will require employers to pay workers an extra $4 per hour.

The pay would be in effect for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency, but the council can reconsider it at the four-month mark.

“Hazard pay for grocery workers is the least we can do to recognize the dangers they face when going to work, including unmasked customers, customers who are coughing and not respecting social distancing rules, and cleaning of commonly used surfaces,” said Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, who introduced the legislation.

It applies to companies with more than 500 employees worldwide and to stores larger than 10,000 square feet. It doesn’t apply to farmers markets or convenience stores.