Hazard Pay for Fred Meyer Employees During the Outbreak of COVID-19

0 have signed. Let’s get to 35,000!


Fred Meyer, as well as all grocery stores in the nation, are on the front lines of a global pandemic. These employees are constantly and consistently risking their health and the health of their loved ones by being exposed to so much of the general public as COVID-19 continues to spread exponentially throughout the community. Fred Meyer employees - from the distribution warehouses to in-store workers - are demanding fair compensation by way of hazard pay for being potentially exposed to this dangerous and lethal virus.

Hazard pay is defined by the US Department of Labor as "additional pay for performing hazardous duty or work involving physical hardship. Work duty that causes extreme physical discomfort and distress which is not adequately alleviated by protective devices is deemed to impose a physical hardship."
Fair hazard pay currently runs between 10% and 20% of an employee's current hourly wage. It is the responsibility of Fred Meyer to fairly compensate their workers for the risks they are taking to perform their job. 

WHY THIS MATTERS

Coronavirus COVID-19 has spread to over 160,000 people worldwide since its first case in November 2019, as of March 17, 2020. The disease has been fatal to over 6600 people worldwide.

In Washington state, the epicenter of COVID-19 in the United States, we have reached over 900 confirmed cases with over 50 deaths. Experts expect this number to double every four days. Transmission is caused mainly through people who are untested and are currently asymptomatic as the virus has an incubation period of upwards of two weeks. This virus is spreading quickly, exponentially, and silently.
Gloves and masks are not adequate protective measures, and the CDC recommends social distancing as the main preventative measure for spreading COVID-19. Grocery store employees are seriously limited in their ability to maintain a distance between themselves and the general public.

Washington state governor, Jay Inslee, has banned public gatherings of 250 or more people. Restaurants, bars, and recreational facilities are currently prohibited from operating. Other non-essential retail outlets are allowed to operate only under a limited capacity. The CDC recommends prohibiting public events and gatherings of 50 people or more. These measures are in place in order to aid public health and safety. Fred Meyer currently has no capacity limit in place and continues to see hundreds of customers a day, many shopping at the same time. This is deemed as dangerous under the CDC's guidelines and guarantees the continued transmission of COVID-19.

The ONLY preventative measures currently are social distancing, self-isolating, and quarantine. As previously stated, gloves and masks are NOT enough to stop the transmission of the virus, and as such, it is impossible for Fred Meyer to provide adequate protection against COVID-19, hence the necessity of providing employees with fair hazard pay.

Fred Meyer employees are risking their health and safety in order to help society operate in these distressing times. There are not many other professions currently that are exposed to this virus on a daily basis as much as grocery store employees. These workers are helping to maintain a semblance of normalcy and security during the midst of a global pandemic.

Provide these employees jeopardizing their health and the health of their loved ones for the sake of the community with fair compensation immediately.