At Ruler Foods, we like to start each day with an uplift. And my uplift today is everything our more than 460,000 associates are doing to demonstrate our Purpose to Feed the Human Spirit.
I want to thank you – our customer – for the appreciation you have shown to our associates…and for shopping responsibly and purchasing only what you need, doing your part to protect yourself and others by practicing physical distancing and healthy habits in our stores, and most importantly, remembering that we are all in this together.
Thank you for shopping with us and being a loyal customer.
Rodney McMullen Chairman and CEO, The Kroger Company
Associate Wellbeing & Safety
Our associates are on the frontlines, ensuring Americans have access to the food, services and products they need during this unprecedented pandemic. We are committed to protecting the health and safety of our associates.
We’ve let our associates know they are permitted to wear protective masks and gloves, and we are working hard to secure these resources. There is a national shortage of personal protective equipment like this, and we fully support America’s health care workers having first priority to obtain the equipment they need. We are advocating to government officials at all levels for help securing a priority place in line for all grocery workers – after health care workers – to have access to protective masks and gloves.
We continue to enhance our daily sanitation practices, including cleaning commonly used areas more often like cashier stations, self-checkouts, credit card terminals, bagging areas and shelves.
And, we are now installing plexiglass partitions at check lanes to further promote physical distancing. In addition, we are installing educational floor decals to promote physical distancing at check lanes.
Additionally, we’ve adjusted store operating hours across the country to allow more time for our associates to rest, clean and replenish inventory.
Ruler Foods has enacted Emergency Leave Guidelines, allowing paid time off for associates diagnosed with COVID-19, placed under mandatory quarantine and paid time off for self-isolation and symptoms as verified by an accredited health care professional. All eligible associates will receive their standard pay for up to two weeks (14 days).
For those affected by COVID-19, the organization has also made available $5 million through the Kroger Family of Companies Helping Hands fund to provide financial assistance to associates who face hardship due to COVID-19, including lack of access to childcare and for those considered higher-risk.
We believe all these steps will help to ensure the safety of our associates and help our communities to flatten the curve while at the same time meeting our obligation to be there for our customers.
Additionally, we are providing all hourly frontline grocery, supply chain, manufacturing, pharmacy and call center associates with a Hero Bonus – a $2 premium above their standard base rate of pay, applied to hours worked March 29 through April 18. The premium will be disbursed weekly to ensure associates have access to additional cash. The Hero Bonus follows and is in addition to our previous commitment shared on March 21, which provided a one-time bonus to frontline associates.