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Kroger Punishes Unvaccinated Employees, Removes Paid Leaves

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The Kroger Co., or simply Kroger | Kroger Punishes Unvaccinated Employees, Removes Paid Leaves | featured

Retail chain Kroger announced Tuesday that it will remove paid leaves for unvaccinated employees who get COVID-19. It will also require these workers to pay a monthly health insurance surcharge beginning next year.

RELATED: Delta Charges Unvaccinated Workers $200 More in Health Costs

Kroger Targets Unvaccinated Employees

The facade of Kroger Food and Pharmacy store | Unvaccinated Employees

Kroger, one of the country’s largest employers with nearly half a million workers, is taking a stand against unvaccinated employees.

America’s largest supermarket chain issued a company-wide memo announcing the policies for unvaccinated workers starting January 1. 

According to a company spokesperson, the new guidelines aim to encourage employees to finally get their COVID vaccine shots.

The company also added that it will continue issuing $100 incentives for all workers once they become fully vaccinated.

“As we prepare to navigate the next phase of the pandemic, we are modifying policies to encourage safe behaviors including vaccination,” Kroger said in a statement.

Beginning next year, all unvaccinated employees enrolled in the company’s health insurance plan will need to pay a surcharge.

All non-union and salaried employees will need to fork over the $50 fee to cover their potential COVID health costs.

In contrast, fully vaccinated workers will remain eligible for paid leaves even if they get COVID. They also won’t require paying extra surcharges for their health insurance. 

Omicron Variant Keeping Employers Wary

Kroger’s announcement comes as many employers continue to hedge plans on how to conduct daily operations. The appearance of the Omicron variant pushed many businesses to reconsider plans to make employees return to the office. 

In fact, states like New York and California reinstated mask mandates regardless of vaccine status.

This forced some retailers to bring back signs on entrances saying customers need to wear masks when inside store premises.

Meanwhile, companies such as Google reconsidered the planned return to the office by January 0f 2022. 

Companies Doing Everything Short of Forcing Employees To Vaccinate

Outside of Kroger, other companies also tightened their COVID-19 policies for employees who have yet to get vaccines. For example, unvaccinated employees at Delta Air Lines must pay a $200 monthly surcharge for health insurance. 

Other companies tried less-punitive ways of convincing workers to get the vaccines. This includes company-wide educational campaigns.

In addition, some offered incentive programs for the fully vaccinated, including providing cash rewards. However, most have yet to see these programs pay off.

Wade Symons, regulatory resources group leader at Mercer, thinks that companies are now going for the areas that hurt workers most. “I think employers sort of see hitting employees in the wallet as a true motivator that … should increase vaccination levels.”

Unvaccinated Employees Can Cost Employers More

Symons also added that unvaccinated employees can potentially cost the employer more in health insurance costs.

He said that a self-insured employer that pays the claims for the company’s health insurance is rethinking the presence of unvaccinated workers in the mix.

This situation presents “the potential, not only to get COVID-19 themselves but also potentially to affect others,” he said. As a result, many CEOs want the unvaccinated to “pay more to try to offset some of those costs.”

Watch the WTHR news video reporting that Kroger takes away benefits for unvaccinated employees:

What do you think of Kroger passing the cost of COVID to unvaccinated employees who refuse to get COVID vaccines?

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What do you think of Kroger passing the cost of COVID to workers who refuse to get COVID vaccines? Do you think it’s fair?

Let us know what you think. Share your thoughts on unvaccinated employees and health insurance surcharges. Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

19 Comments

19 Comments

  • Jeff Easton says:

    I have shopped at Kroger my whole life. My first real job was at Kroger. I met my wife at Kroger (that’s another story). I have a Meijer and Walmart closer to my home than Kroger. Bought my gas there and everything else. Sorry bros. Go woke ( and this is nothing if not woke) go broke! How do you square the Fauci circle who said just yesterday that “sometimes vaccines don’t work and in fact can make you worse!” I would guess that in light of these new Faucisms the Kroger employees would have some legal recourse if they now get the jab and have a bad reaction.

  • Pixie Boo Boo says:

    The government couldn’t do it by mandate, so the companies are being their tyrannical enforcers. I will no longer shop at Kroger or fly on Delta.

  • Siegfried Guenther says:

    I am not shopping at Kroger anymore nothing has been proven that the vaccine really helps people are getting sick even though they are vaccinated also what about the heart problems that are showing up but not reporting it because they don’t want the people to know is Kroger going to pay for the medical bills when some workers will have heart problems can we then take them to court and ask for millions of dollars Kroger is nuts

  • Arland Moseng says:

    All I have to say is…..Let’s Go Kroger!!!! Won’t ever shop there!! So if you wanna go woke you can go BROKE!!!! KROGER

  • MSH says:

    Are they going to do the same to vaccinated employees who get the virus? If not, sounds like discrimination to me. I would not shop there if there was one close.

  • Shewee says:

    Any government person or company should be held liable for any injuries, illnesses, or death caused by the clot shot. Babies from women who had the jab while pregnant are being born, at an alarming rate, with heart issues. Athletes around the globe are falling over dead, usually after the second jab or booster shot. This is not a vaccine!

  • Scott E Jarrad says:

    I’m not Democrat or republican, I’m independent but I believe in our rights are Constitution shame on the president shame on him and all the governors and mayors of this country that are trying to force a covid shot that has not been cleared yet into our bodies, may God bless all the employees of Kroger across this great country of ours who decide to take a stand for what’s right and their lives I will never and I mean never shop at Kroger again. Scott Jarrad, Michigan

  • Served for my Country says:

    Once again there is no consideration for the employee.Then you should also require the flu vaccine with same consequences. So many violations and no one even brings up hippa. Maybe as customers we should all confirm no employees have Aids and hepatitus B. So lets think about what is going on here i would call it segregation.

  • Gro says:

    No company or Mayor, governor or government can force anybody to have a medical procedure, this is USA not Germany they all work for us. They DO NOT HAVE A VACCINE FOR COVID-19 this is a mRNA test a genetic human test that is worse then the covid 19 Fauci and Gates released. If your company demands you become a numbered non organic human get a attorney and sue the company govenors government and put a end to the mass extermination.. athis is a direct violation of HIPAA and the Nuremberg code. Shut them down the shot doesn’t protect you from covid-19 or anything else wake up.

  • Bob T. says:

    Are these the same employees who were there before there was a vaccine day in and day out working so the rest of us wouldn’t starve.I shop Kroger all the time, never again!

  • Darron Clark says:

    If they actually weigh the cost and risk, they will find it lower that most other risk factors. Ie you’re more likely to be hit by a car or drown in a bath tub than be harmed by CoVid. I imagine Krogers is virtue signaling at the expense of the pure bloods.

  • Tom wade says:

    I think people should just refuse to shop on Kroger due to their Nazi like mandate . They will Understand their bottom line being hit drastically . How do you force a vaccine on people when fully vaccinated people still get Covid . If their bottom line is crushed enough they will back up funny how strangling them financially will work . That’s what they are trying to do to their employees . What next the unvaccinated wear an arm band like the Nazis did to the Jewish people . Bottom line if the vaccine did what it was supposed to the vaccinated would not get vivid .

  • The Rebel says:

    PUCK you pinko-commie Brandons———————-you lost my business !!!

  • Branden Oconnell says:

    Thank you Kroger!!! I was sick of shopping around all these anti science people and you ran them off anyways thank god…get woke or stay asleep… count those sheep in your heads… or the ones in your mirrors🖕🏻

  • Elyce B duerr says:

    Vaccinated employees also get covid therefore if any penalties pertaining to covid are placed on the unvaccinated they MUST also be placed on the vaccinated. This also applies to any benefits afforded to the vaccinated such as paid sick leave for covid MUST also be granted to the unvaccinated. If this vaccine has proven anything it’s that it doesn’t work and could cause severe side effects and death. None of which will be covered by any insurance since it’s an EXPERIMENTAL drug.

  • Katia Filburn says:

    Omicron is a very mild form of CV. The doctor who has treated thousands of cases in Africa said her patients did not have fever, not did they have a bad cough or a sore throat.Only a scratchy throat and a slight cough.Not even something to compare to a cold. Omicron is THE DYING OFF of CoVid 19. Kroger will suffer from this. They had a booming year because their business did not get closed by buerocrats. It won’t last. God has His ways.

  • Berince says:

    The CDC just announced the expectation of 60,000 people dying per week this winter. Now that we know that Omicron is mild and causes no fever, not even a sore throat and only a slight cough, we know these expected deaths are going to come from something else. Perhaps the CDC knows a lot they’re not telling? As in ,the shots are causing immune systems to be wiped out of the jabbed?? Someone with a depleted immune system could certainly die from Omicron, or a simple cold.

  • Louisa De Silva says:

    Kroger has had a huge uptick of customers loading their shopping carts and forgetting to stop at the cashier to pay. They’ve also had many incidents of armed robberies occuring in their parking lots. Fir these 2 reasons, we’ve stopped shopping there. Too dangerous. An elderly lady got assaulted in the store recently for her purse. Security is not doing anything from what we see happening. Why have security if they do nothing?

  • Joan Grant says:

    So now it’s Communist USA ?
    Tell me, how much do we differ from China ?

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