In October at the height of this pandemic, Sprouts took away hazard pay and changed their paid pandemic sick leave policy, making it harder for us to quarantine with pay. It is disgraceful for Sprouts, a company that prides itself on setting the standard for “healthy living,” to try and cut costs at the expense of their workers’ health and financial security.
The risk is real: thousands of grocery workers nationwide have contracted COVID-19 and more than 80% of Sprouts stores have reported at least one case since the pandemic began.
Sprouts’ change in sick leave forces us to make an impossible choice: quarantine without pay because we can’t prove where we contracted the virus, or go to work sick to have income for our families. Now is not the time to punish sick workers or worse, force COVID-positive Sprouties to come to work for fear of not being able to make ends meet. This policy doesn’t only endanger workers -- it endangers our families, our communities, and Sprouts’ customers.
Coming to work every day is more dangerous than ever. We need the resources required to provide for and protect ourselves, our families, and our customers. The hazards have not gone away. We deserve hazard pay until we no longer have to wear a mask.
Please add your name and tell Sprouts that:
- We deserve $2 an hour hazard pay: Until the pandemic is over, we need hourly hazard pay that recognizes the increased risk, stress, and responsibility we have taken on as essential workers.
- We deserve pandemic paid sick leave: We are being told to stay home if we are sick, yet Sprouts will not provide pandemic sick leave unless we prove we caught the virus at work. Our health and welfare should be Sprouts’ priority. We should not have to use our sick days, or lose weeks of income, to quarantine.
- We deserve consistent hours with hazard pay: Sprouts is notorious for cutting hours to keep labor costs low. Providing hazard pay is not an excuse to cut hours. Sprouts can afford to keep us working.
Can Sprouts Afford It?
This crisis has only made Sprouts more profitable. At the end of September, Sprouts’ 2020 profits had seen a 95% increase over the same time last year and a whopping $597 million increase in sales. We know that Sprouts can afford to give us hazard pay, sick leave, and provide us consistent hours.
Hazard Pay Background
Multiple grocery chains have restored hazard pay with back pay or even made these wage increases permanent. Sprouts took away our “enhanced compensation” bonuses in October, leaving many of us unable to provide for ourselves and our families.
Sick Leave Policy Details
Sprouts changed their sick leave policy, creating confusion and uncertainty about how to receive paid sick leave in order to quarantine. Sprouts is now asking workers to prove they contracted the virus at work, in order to qualify for paid sick leave while they quarantine. Previously, Sprouts’ provided a 2-week paid quarantine period for any Sproutie who needed it, and during the height of the pandemic, it is unsafe for all of us for Sprouts to take that away.