Kroger ending some COVID-related benefits for unvaccinated employees

Marianne Wilson
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The Kroger Co. is setting some new policies that it hopes will encourage more of its employees to get vaccinated. 

Unvaccinated workers at Kroger will no longer be eligible to receive up to two weeks paid emergency leave if they become infected with COVID-19, according to a report by The Hill. The news was first reported by The Wall Street Journal. The emergency leave policy was put into place last year when vaccines were unavailable.

Also, starting Jan. 1, Kroger will also start charging a $50 monthly fee to unvaccinated salaried workers and managers who are enrolled in a company health care plan. Unionized workers and non-union hourly workers will not be charged that fee.

Kroger will still offer various leave options for employees who contract the virus, including earned paid time off and the ability to apply for unpaid leave. The company will continue to incentivize workers to get vaccinated, giving a $100 bonus to all fully vaccinated employees.

Kroger has about 465,000 workers as of Jan. 31, according to a regulatory filing.