In addition to face masks, all Natural Grocers staff have been provided personal hand sanitizers to use throughout their shifts
Natural Grocers is extending its $2-per-hour pay increase for employees through May 31.
Previously, the natural and organic grocery store chain announced that the pay increase would be in effect from March 23 until May 3 for hourly store, bulk repack production and warehouse crew, with $1 of the increase being permanent and $1 being temporary. With this new announcement, $1 per hour worked will be paid as a temporary bonus through May 31 and the other $1 per hour will continue to be a permanent raise. The company has also provided two discretionary bonuses to store employees and one to bulk manufacturing staff. Additionally, all break times have been permanently increased to 15 minutes.
"As always, our business decisions are guided by our Founding Principles, allowing us to remain rooted in health and rooted in our commitment to our communities and our good4u Crew throughout the coronavirus pandemic," said Heather Isely, Natural Grocers EVP. "This crisis will not last forever, but our Crew members have been, and will remain, heroes and deserve to be recognized for their service to the community, even after this crisis has passed. This permanent $1 per hour increase is our way of showing that our appreciation for all they have done during this crisis continues beyond the end of the pandemic, and it will be a reminder of how we made it through these times together."
Natural Grocers is also requesting that all customers wear face masks when they shop, unless they have underlying health issues that make it difficult to wear one. In addition, stores will adhere to any city, county or state orders requiring customers to wear face masks while shopping.
Other pandemic-related actions by Natural Grocers include the following:
- In addition to face masks, all employees have been provided personal hand sanitizer dispemsers to use throughout their shifts. As supplies allow, hand sanitizer is available for public use.
- All stores have social-distancing markers on the floor at the register line to show 6 feet of distance and have posted social-distancing signs throughout the stores. Staff are respectfully reminding customers to observe social distancing throughout the day.
- There is a set maximum number of customers allowed in stores at one time based on square footage. In addition, each store adheres to any city, county or state orders regarding how many people can be in a store at any given time, which may be based on the square footage of the store or a percentage of maximum occupancy.
- Plexiglass sneeze guards have been installed at every register to help in adhering to social-distancing guidelines and to help support the health and well-being of employees and customers during the checkout process.
- The front entrance of each store will be staffed by an employee to clean carts for customers as they enter, to remind customers to social distance, to provide hand sanitizer to customers, and to monitor and adhere to customer limits and face mask regulations.
- There are two shopping hours available exclusively for seniors (ages 60 and older), pregnant women, and individuals with underlying medical conditions: Sundays from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. and Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
- The company health-check policy requires all staff to take their temperatures and to check for other COVID-19-related symptoms prior to reporting for their shifts. Employees with a temperature of 99.6° F degrees or above are required to stay home until they have been fever-free and/or symptom-free for at least 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing drugs. Crew are required to verify that they completed a fever and symptom check upon arriving at work. In addition, stores are adhering to any city, county or state orders regarding temperature, symptom checks and verification of return-to-work requirements. Employees are provided with paid time off (PTO), which they can use if they are sick and required to stay home.
Lakewood, Colo.-based Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Inc. has more than 3,500 employees and operates 157 stores in 20 states.