Kroger Co. Rewards Employees Who Receive COVID-19 Vaccine

Employees of Kroger Co. who receive a COVID-19 vaccine will be rewarded with a $100 bonus, according to the supermarket giant.

Employees of Kroger Co. who receive a COVID-19 vaccine will be rewarded with a $100 bonus, according to the supermarket giant.

The recently announced one-time offer is available to all company associates, nearly 500,000 individuals in 35 states, who provide proof of their the vaccination to human resources. Workers must have received the full manufacturer-recommended dose, according to a release from Kroger. As for those unable to receive the vaccine due to medical or religious reasons, completing an education and safety course will be enough for payment.

"As we move into a new phase of the pandemic, we're increasing our investment to not only recognize our associates' contributions, but also encourage them to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as it becomes available to them to optimize their well-being as well as the community's," Kroger Chief People Officer Tim Massa said in the release.

In addition to the new vaccine payment, the company also announced an additional $50 million investment to thank and reward associates with a $100 store credit and 1,000 fuel points for hourly frontline grocery, supply chain, manufacturing, pharmacy and call center associates.

"Through the unknowns of this pandemic, our associates have risen to the challenge and shown the true meaning of Our Purpose—To Feed the Human Spirit," Massa said. "Since March, we have invested more than $1.5 billion to both reward our associates and to safeguard our associates and customers through the implementation of dozens of safety measures that we continue to execute today. We've also welcomed more than 100,000 new associates to The Kroger Family of Companies."

In addition to the new vaccine payment and associate rewards, Kroger has taken numerous actions to support associates. Some of many include: providing additional pay, multiple special bonuses and rewards; offering COVID-19 testing to associates based on symptoms and medical need; providing COVID-19 Emergency Leave to associates most directly affected by the virus or experiencing related symptoms and providing paid time off; and more.

"We know that the most effective defense against this pandemic comes in the form of the COVID-19 vaccine and the continuation of the rigorous safety precautions we've established across our stores, manufacturing facilities and supply chain," said Dr. Marc Watkins, Kroger's chief medical officer. "We are strongly encouraging all customers and associates to receive the vaccine to curb the spread of COVID-19, and we'll do all we can to ensure they have access as soon as it's available."