Burlington, WA – Below is a Press Release from Jeffery Temple, Director of Corporate Affairs for Fred Meyer Stores.
We are Reaching Out to provide you, the community, with an update regarding the additional actions we are taking to protect our associates (and customers) during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our associates are on the frontlines, ensuring Americans have access to the food, services and products they need during this unprecedented pandemic. We are committed to protecting the health and safety of our associates.
We’ve let our associates know they are permitted to wear protective masks and gloves. There is a national shortage of personal protective equipment like this, and we fully support America’s health care workers having first priority to obtain the equipment they need. We are advocating to government officials at all levels for help securing a priority place in line for all grocery workers – after health care workers – to have access to protective masks and gloves.
We continue to enhance our daily sanitation practices, including cleaning commonly used areas more often like cashier stations, self-checkouts, credit card terminals, food service counters and shelves.
And, we are now installing plexiglass partitions at many cash registers, to further promote physical distancing. Many of our stores are beginning the installation process this week, and we anticipate every check lane having a partition, including pharmacy counters and Starbucks registers, within the next several weeks. In addition, we are installing educational floor decals to promote physical distancing at check lanes and other counters.
Additionally, we’ve adjusted store operating hours across the country to allow more time for our associates to rest, clean and replenish inventory.
Fred Meyer has enacted Emergency Leave Guidelines, allowing paid time off for associates diagnosed with COVID-19, placed under mandatory quarantine and paid time off for self-isolation and symptoms as verified by an accredited health care professional. All eligible associates will receive their standard pay for up to two weeks (14 days).
For those affected by COVID-19, the organization has also made available additional resources through the Kroger Family of Companies Helping Hands fund to provide financial assistance to associates who face hardship due to COVID-19, including lack of access to childcare and for those considered higher-risk.
We believe all these steps will help to ensure the safety of our associates and help our communities to flatten the curve while at the same time meeting our obligation to be there for our customers.