Santa Monica City Council Approves Hero Pay for Grocery and Drug Retail Workers

March 10, 2021 11:13 AM

The Santa Monica City Council has adopted an ordinance requiring large grocery store chains and drug retailers to provide their essential workers an additional $5 an hour in light of their increased health risks throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency as these businesses have remained open and in service to the community. This “hero pay” requirement aligns with a similar provision recently adopted for unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County as well as in the cities of West Hollywood, Long Beach, and Los Angeles.   

“Hero pay is about boosting wages in light of the elevated health risks grocery store and drug store chain employees experience every time they report to work indoors, interacting with large numbers of people and when they return home to their families,” said Mayor Sue Himmelrich. “This is a much-deserved recognition of the sacrifices these vital essential personnel have endured for the last year.” 

Santa Monica’s hero pay ordinance is an urgency ordinance making it effective immediately with the following provisions: 

Hero pay is immediately required for the employees of businesses meeting the above requirements, but there is a grace period through April 12 for any liability resulting from nonpayment, so long as all accrued pay is paid by the next pay date after April 12. The City will circulate legal notices to the applicable Santa Monica businesses to notify employees of their right to hero pay compensation.  




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Constance Farrell
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City Council