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Kroger adds monthly surcharge for unvaccinated workers and cuts their COVID-19 sick leave

The country’s largest traditional grocery store chain, with almost 500,000 employees, said vaccinations are a focus for the company

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Kroger

The country’s largest supermarket operator is handing down the ultimate punishments to employees unvaccinated against COVID-19. Beginning next year, Kroger will take away paid leave for unvaccinated employees who get COVID-19 and will require some to pay a monthly health insurance surcharge.

A company spokeswoman said the policies will be implemented in order to encourage staff to make the choice to get the vaccine. Fully vaccinated employees who get breakthrough cases, however, will still be provided paid leave.

Kroger is one of the country’s biggest employers with about 465,000 workers. The announcement was made by the supermarket giant on Tuesday when a companywide memo was sent out. The changes will take effect on January 1st. The company will continue its policy of offering a $100 incentive to all employees who become fully vaccinated.

“As we prepare to navigate the next phase of the pandemic, we are modifying policies to encourage safe behaviors including vaccination,” the spokeswoman said in a statement.
Starting next year, salaried, non-union employees who are unvaccinated and enrolled in the company’s health insurance plan must pay a monthly $50 surcharge, the company spokeswoman said.

CNBC reports:

The announcement comes as the spread of the omicron variant creates new uncertainty about how businesses should operate and when corporate employees will return to the office. New York and California have reinstated mask mandates, regardless of vaccination status. That’s led to retailers posting entrance signs reminiscent of the earlier months of the pandemic, reminding customers they must put on masks before stepping inside. Some companies, including Google, have pushed back plans to require employees to return to the office in January.

Other companies have also tightened rules around Covid vaccinations or added penalties for employees who do not get them. Starting in November, unvaccinated Delta Air Lines employees must pay a $200 monthly surcharge for health insurance.

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Kevin Johnson

    December 16, 2021 at 8:37 am

    Kevin Johnson

  2. Mike

    December 16, 2021 at 9:53 am

    Might be time to boycott Kroger. I’ll take American freedoms over a big time grocery store anytime

  3. KS_Tadpole

    December 16, 2021 at 10:17 am

    Will they take away vacation pay for infected vaccinated employees?

  4. M. Jones

    December 16, 2021 at 10:31 am

    Guess I will be limiting my shopping at Kroeger, as to support their hard working employees who continued to work throughout the pandemic. Not fair to penalize employees for not getting a vaccine that hasn’t even been proven effective. And, if they have health issues or have a religious belief that goes against having a vaccine put in their body, that contains fetal matter, from embryo tissue, that’s really wrong. Many jobs out there right now. Hopefully, they’ll all find a better employer.

  5. Blue Ridge Mama

    December 16, 2021 at 3:15 pm

    Very stupid choice on their part…

  6. Javaman

    December 16, 2021 at 3:26 pm

    I will never set foot in one of there stores for the rest of my life.

  7. Gloria B SWARD

    December 16, 2021 at 5:15 pm

    BOYCOTT–It is against the First Amendment Rights. Do they have any young men between 18-25? Will they take responsibility if any one of these young men are adversely affected by heart conditions as a result of the vaccine? They better prepare for lawsuits.

  8. Rhonda

    December 16, 2021 at 5:43 pm

    With the Covid pandemic our current socialist-headed Democrats have been given a head start on controlling the population thru mandates and scare tactics. I love the way the word “choice” is used.

    • Brenda Bullard

      December 27, 2021 at 1:14 am

      those Democrats dropped their slogan, “My Body My Choice” REAL FAST! And in their case it wasn’t even THEIR body! But these people are being forced to take the shot through intimidation and it actually IS their own body!

  9. LesHL

    December 16, 2021 at 5:53 pm

    Time for these 5000,000 employees to unionize, strike and shut them down. Any of these large corporations that demand, and punish employees needs to be punished themselves! Forcing anyone to put something in their body, they don’t want or believe in through intimidation is disgusting and probably illegal.

  10. Word7

    December 16, 2021 at 7:46 pm

    Tyrants, I won’t be shopping St Krogers anymore.

  11. Shelly

    December 16, 2021 at 8:05 pm

    Don’t shop there anyway. That is outrageous!

  12. Cynthia Banks

    December 16, 2021 at 10:56 pm

    I have shopped at the Smith’s in Mesquite Nevada for the last eleven years. That stops today. How dare you blackmail your employees many who have become very dear to me. Take your company and shove it.

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COVID-19

OH Judge halts Air Force from punishing airmen who sought religious exemption from vax mandate

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COVID Vaccine

A Judge of the Southern District of Ohio granted a preliminary injunction against the U.S. Air Force from punishing the servicemen and women who had filed for a religious exemption to the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate on Wednesday.

Judge Matthew W. McFarland, just two weeks before, ordered a restraining order against the Air Force from pursuing punitive measures against the airmen.

The case, Doster v. Kendall, McFarland wrote that the Air Force failed to raise any “persuasive arguments” for why the Court should not extend an existing Preliminary Injunction prohibiting the Air Force from punishing a group of plaintiffs to all airmen seeking religious exemption. He added:

[T]he Court reminds Defendants that ‘[i]t is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is. Thus, due to the systematic nature of what the Court views as violations of Airmen’s constitutional rights to practice their religion as they please, the Court is well within its bounds to extend the existing preliminary injunction to all Class Members.

https://twitter.com/kristina_wong/status/1552456840285388800

All active-duty, active reserve, reserve, national guard, inductees, and appointees of the United States Air Force and Space Force, including but not limited to Air Force Academy Cadets, Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) Cadets, Members of the Air Force Reserve Command, and any Airman who has sworn or affirmed the United States Uniformed Services Oath of Office or Enlistment and is currently under command and could be deployed, who: (i) submitted a religious accommodation request to the Air Force from the Air Force COVID-19 vaccination requirement, where the request was submitted or was pending, from September 1, 2021 to the present; (ii) were confirmed as having had a sincerely held religious belief substantially burdened by the Air Force’s COVID19 vaccination requirement by or through Air Force Chaplains; and (iii) either had their requested accommodation denied or have not had action on that request.

In addition, the order said the Air Force, which includes their officers, agents, servants, employees, and attorneys, and other people acting in concert or participation with them, who receive notice of this preliminary injunction, are PRELIMINARILY ENJOINED from:

(i) taking, furthering, or continuing any disciplinary or separation measures against the members of the Class for their refusal to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, while keeping in place the current temporary exemption; such disciplinary or separation measures include, but are not limited to, ‘adverse administrative actions, non-judicial punishment, administrative demotions, administrative discharges, and courts-martial’ for the benefit of Defendants, this includes continuing any administrative separation or punitive processes or initiating the same.

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