Epstein Becker Green Advisory Cited in “‘Hero Pay’ Requirement for Grocery Workers Results in Unemployed Heroes”


Adam C. Abrahms and Jonathan Assia, attorneys in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s Los Angeles office, co-authored an Act Now Advisory that was cited in Reason, in “'Hero Pay' Requirement for Grocery Workers Results in Unemployed Heroes,” by Christian Britschgi.

Following is an excerpt:

Mandated "hero pay" will add up to about $0 an hour for some grocery store workers in Los Angeles. Grocers there are closing three stores in response to newly enacted legislation that requires them to pay their workers an additional $5 an hour during the pandemic.

"It's never our desire to close a store, but when you factor in the increased costs of operating during COVID-19, consistent financial losses at these three locations, and an extra pay mandate that will cost nearly $20 million over the next 120 days, it becomes impossible to operate these three stores," said grocery store chain Kroger in a statement given to CBS Los Angeles, announcing that two Ralphs-branded stores and one Food 4 Less location, would be shutting down.

The closures come after the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors passed its COVID hero pay ordinance in late February. A near-identical $5-per-hour hero pay law was passed by the Los Angeles City Council in early March.

Related reading:

“Los Angeles County Passes ‘Hero Pay’ Ordinance,” by Adam C. Abrahms and Jonathan Assia.