Right now, I’m sure you all have lots of questions about how the company is handling this virus and what rights you have. We have been working with the company to make sure that everyone is kept as safe as possible, and address any concerns for safety that come up.
Some of the top concerns that we have received from the membership are:
Does my store have to notify me if one of my co-workers tests positive for the virus?
Yes, your store management team should notify anyone who may have been exposed to the virus, but due to HIPPA laws, the store cannot identify the member, unless the member gives permission. We do believe that it is also the store’s responsibility to try to notify any member of the general public who may have come into contact with the sick associate.
Does my store have to shut down if someone in the store tests positive?
While some employers must shut down, as mandated by state and federal regulations, grocery stores are not mandated to shut down. However, the company has assured us that they are working with the local boards of health, and complying with the CDC regulations for properly cleaning and sanitizing, or discarding any products and/or surfaces that the infected member may have come into contact with while at work.
Minimum wage concerns:
On January 1st, 2020, the state minimum wage went up to 12.75/ hour. While this is great for newly hired workers, its not so great for existing and long-term employees who are already above minimum wage. This is an ongoing argument that we will continue to have every time the minimum wage increases. To offset these increases, we have an agreement with the company for a wage compression adjustment this year, in addition to your general wage increases.
If you have not seen the compression rates, please see below for the chart which indicates what level of an adjustment you will receive based on your years of service with the company: