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Grocery employees in dozens of cities from San Francisco to Santa Ana have successfully lobbied their council members to pass ordinances requiring employers to temporarily give hazard or “hero” pay, typically $3 to $5 an hour. Both proponents and opponents of the hazard pay movement expect more cities to adopt the policy. Similar ordinances may soon come up to a vote in cities from Fresno to Pasadena.

The movement is growing, labor leaders said, covering more workers affected by the pandemic. Coachella has already passed an ordinance giving hazard pay to farmworkers, the first in the nation to do so.

Companies boosted grocery workers’ pay at the peak of the pandemic last year. But most – with the exception of companies such as Save Mart and Trader Joe’s – had ended the practice by June, according to a report from the Brookings Institution.

Long Beach was the first to pass an ordinance, giving workers at large grocery stores an extra $4 per hour for at least 120 days. In response, the California Grocers Association filed a federal lawsuit saying such ordinances are unconstitutional, and Kroger closed two grocery stores in the city.

Though Sacramento has been the site of protests calling for higher wages and better safety conditions for workers, neither the county Board of Supervisors nor City Council has proposed hazard pay ordinances. But the policy has spread to nearly a dozen cities in Southern California and several more in Northern California.

Fresno so far is the only city in Central California to consider hazard pay, but Fresno City Council President Luis Chavez said he has gotten calls from officials in surrounding cities. Chavez has proposed extra pay of $3 an hour for 120 days for the city’s grocery workers.

Many businesses have come out against hazard pay, saying the policy will only lead to more closures and layoffs.

For unionized grocery workers, it should be collective bargaining agreements, not city ordinances, that decide their wages, said Ron Fong, president and CEO of the California Grocers Association.

Other workers are pushing for hazard pay as well.

Coachella in February approved “hero” pay for farmworkers and workers at grocery stores, pharmacy stores and restaurants. Only those who employ 300 or more workers nationally and more than five employees in the city would need to provide hazard pay.

Large fast-food chain restaurants have stayed open during the pandemic, with employees going to work every day, said Megan Beaman-Jacinto, a Coachella councilwoman and workers’ rights attorney. She also pushed to include farmworkers, saying they have often been excluded from the protections provided by labor laws.

Healthcare workers are also pushing for extra pay, through a bill introduced by Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, D-Torrance.

Assembly Bill 650 would require private health care companies to provide a $10,000 bonus to a non-executive employee who is working during the pandemic and staying in the industry through 2022. Part-time employees would get up to $6,000.

SEIU Local 2015, which represents 400,000 long-term caregivers, is also calling for hazard pay as part of its campaign promoting mass vaccination and calling on local officials to improve working condition for the union’s members.

Workers could also get some help from the coronavirus relief package that President Joe Biden signed March 11. A provision in the bill allows states to give “premium pay” of up to $13 per hour on top of their typical wages to employees deemed essential. The money would come out of the $26 billion the law allocates to California state government.