Federal Way City Hall. File photo

Federal Way City Hall. File photo

Council amends hazard pay for Federal Way grocery workers

Hazard pay for essential grocery workers has been extended to cover more businesses in Federal Way.

The Federal Way City Council passed a hazard pay ordinance on May 4 requiring local grocery store employees to be paid a $3-an-hour hazard pay raise.

The hazard pay ordinance covers workers at chain grocery stores including Safeway, Walmart, WinCo and Kroger-owned Fred Meyer. The ordinance also covers smaller grocers, such as Grocery Outlet, by allowing them to apply for grant money through the American Rescue Plan.

The increased pay went into effect May 15 and lasts 90 days with a review of the program set for July 6. The city council will vote Aug. 10 to end or extend the hazard pay.

On June 1, the council voted to amend the ordinance, changing the definition of “small grocery business” to stores that range in size between 3,500 to 25,000 square feet. Previously, the ordinance defined “small grocery businesses” as stores between 2,500 to 10,000 square feet.

The amendment does not include seasonal farmers markets, the city noted.

Also at the meeting, the city council established a small grocery business hazard pay grant program utilizing $650,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to cover the increased costs of the hazard pay ordinance.

Previously, businesses between 2,500 to 10,000 square feet were eligible to apply for a city grant for the reimbursement of hazard pay costs.

Grocery businesses defined as a “small grocery business” through the amendment are eligible for reimbursement of hazard pay that was paid to employees and impacts about 250 employees, according to the city.

Eligible businesses are encouraged to apply for the grant funds through the Federal Way Mayor’s Office. For more information and applications, visit cityoffederalway.com/page/mayors-office.

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