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Olympia approves extra ‘hazard pay’ for some grocery workers

Workers at large grocery stores in Olympia will receive an extra $4 an hour starting May 1.
Credit: littlewolf1989 - stock.adobe.com
Cashier in a supermarket wearing mask and gloves during the COVID-19 pandemic.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Starting next month, large grocery stores in Olympia will be required to pay workers an additional $4 an hour in pay. The Olympia City Council voted to approve the ordinance Tuesday.

The hazard pay requirement takes effect on May 1 and lasts as long as Washington is under a state of emergency as declared by the governor, with the opportunity to revisit the policy in four months.

The ordinance applies to grocery stores with more than 250 employees. Farmers' markets and convenience stores are excluded from the requirement.

In the ordinance, Olympia City Council said grocery businesses were among the top U.S. companies that “have generated record-breaking profits during the pandemic.”

Olympia is the latest city in the state to enact such a requirement during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The City of Seattle passed a similar hazard pay ordinance for grocery workers in January. The cities of Burien and Edmonds also passed hazard pay ordinances.