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The San Jose Mercury News reports that the California Grocers Association (CGA) has filed lawsuits challenging the cities of San Jose and Daly City over "hazard pay" mandates requiring grocers to pay front line store employees an ongoing hourly bonus over regular wages.

In San Jose, the hazard pay is $3 an hour, while in Daly City, the extra amount if $5 per hour.

According to the story, CGA "seeks to have a court declare the laws unconstitutional and halt them from taking effect.  The lawsuits filed Friday in the Northern District of California argue that the regulations are illegal because they single out certain grocers while ignoring other groups that employ essential frontline workers. The association also claims the regulations are preempted by the federal National Labor Relations Act, which protects the integrity of collective-bargaining."

“In addition to clearly violating federal and state law, the extra pay mandates will harm customers and workers,” Ron Fong, president & CEO of the California Grocers Association, said in a statement. “A $5/hour mandate amounts to a 28 percent average increase in labor costs for grocery stores. That is too big a cost increase for any grocery retailer to absorb without consequence.”

CGA already has filed similar suits against other municipalities that have imposed hazard pay mandates.

KC's View:

At this point, I am repeating myself - this is bad public policy that will do very little for shoppers and may well end up with fewer stores being operated and fewer people being employed.