Pandemic hazard pay: LA City Council committee votes to move forward with proposed emergency ordinance

LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- The Los Angeles City Council's Economic Development and Jobs Committee voted Tuesday to move forward a proposed emergency ordinance that would require large grocery and pharmacy retailers to offer employees an additional $5 per hour in hazard pay amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Grocery and pharmacy retailers with 300 or more employees nationally and 10 or more employees on site would be required to add the hazard pay to their workers' wages, according to the motion.

"The health threat that these grocery workers face cannot be overstated -- recent studies before the current surge report grocery workers to be five times more likely to test positive,'' the motion stated.

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"These workers must be justly compensated for the clear and present dangers of doing their jobs during the pandemic by requiring their employers to provide hazard pay.''

During the committee meeting Tuesday, Councilman Curren Price said the hazard pay would be required for 120 days.

"These workers deserve to receive premium pay on top of their hourly wage. Putting them in this position as COVID-19 cases continue to surge without any type of hazard pay, is not only morally wrong but is disrespectful for all of their efforts,'' Price said.
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