Supermarket chain Kroger announced Tuesday it will eliminate paid emergency leave for unvaccinated employees who contract COVID-19 in addition to requiring some of them to pay a monthly $50 health insurance surcharge starting in 2022, according to a company memo.
The country’s largest supermarket chain, which employees roughly 465,000 workers, issued an internal company memo announcing the changes, which will start on Jan. 1, a company spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation. Kroger is tightening their COVID-19 related policies as U.S. businesses face uncertainty over President Joe Biden’s recent federal vaccination mandate.
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Recent rules issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration require all businesses with over 100 employees to require the COVID-19 vaccination or weekly testing, the WSJ reported. (RELATED: Philadelphia Becomes Latest City To Implement Vaccine Mandate For Indoor Activities)
“We have been navigating the COVID-19 pandemic for almost two years, and, in line with our values, the safety of our associates and customers has remained our top priority,” a Kroger spokesperson told the DCNF. “To accomplish this, we created and amended several workplace policies at the onset of the pandemic to support our associates during immense uncertainty.”
“The administration of the vaccine to our associates has been an integral part of our efforts and continues to be a focus,” the spokesperson said.
The new rules will apply only to salaried, nonunion employees using the company’s health care plan, according to the memo, the WSJ reported. The Cincinnati-based grocery store has incentivized employers to get vaccinated with $100 payments.
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