The Santa Ana City Council is divided on if to require $4 per hour hazard pay for Santa Ana grocery workers. If enacted the law would require grocery stores to pay their employees an extra $4 per hour for four months.
The council will decide by March if they want to enact this law with Costa Mesa another city considering a similar law. The day after a similar law called Hero’s Pay was enacted in Long Beach, Kroger announced that it was closing a Ralphs location as well as a Food 4 Less location in the city because of the law.
The fact that the city is trying to help some of its residents who work retail and put their health at risk in this pandemic is admirable but this law could do more damage than help.
Supermarkets in general are a low margin business and, these added wage costs even for just a few months could force a store to close which isn’t helping the employees. In the case of Kroger which is a huge company they could have suffered this for a few months and, kept these stores open but i think they were trying to send a message to other cities that are thinking about such laws.
I don’t know how Santa Ana would be able to enforce this law and, what about pharmacy workers, employees at Target, Home Depot, Tj Maxx or other stores.
Santa Ana already has the highest sales tax in the county making the city more business unfriendly even for a short time is not a good thing. I would love for all people who face the public and, put themselves at risk right now to get a $4 an hour hazard pay boost but i don’t think its feasible.