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COVID: Daly City Approves $5/Hour Hazard Pay For Workers At Large Grocery, Drug Stores

DALY CITY (BCN) – Daly City's City Council voted this week to establish hazard pay for certain grocery and drug store workers at $5 per hour.

The City Council joins a handful of cities in San Mateo County that passed hazard pay ordinances this year to better compensate store workers who are exposed to COVID-19 through their work.

Daly City councilmembers voted unanimously to adopt the urgency ordinance, which would apply to grocery and drug stores in the city that are at least 10,000 square feet and which employ at least 500 employees nationwide. Grocery stores are defined as stores that devote at least 10 percent of interior space to selling food products.

Employees who work at least two hours in a week and are paid hourly qualify for the hazard pay, which does not apply to managers or supervisors. Under the ordinance, covered employees are also allowed four hours of paid leave to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

The ordinance went into effect immediately after passage Monday and expires 120 days after adoption in order to give workers enough time to get vaccinated.

City staff cited a November 2020 study from the Brookings Institution, a national non-profit public policy organization, which found that the nation's top retail companies earned high profits but their workers received only slight pay increases.

Daly City Mayor Juslyn Manalo said the ordinance was important as workers do not have the opportunity to work from home and risk their lives to show up to work.

"Grocery and drug store workers are our local heroes and have helped keep our food and pharmaceutical supply chains intact during the entire pandemic," Manalo said in a statement.

Around the Bay Area, the cities of San Mateo, South San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland and Berkeley have passed similar ordinances.

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