New round of bonuses: Kroger announces $130M 'Thank you Pay' for associates, continues paid leave

CINCINNATI -- Kroger on Friday, May 15 announced a special "Thank You Pay" four hourly frontline grocery, supply chain, manufacturing, pharmacy and call center associates to acknowledge their dedication to maintaining safe, clean and stocked stores amid the coronavirus pandemic. The one-time "Thank You Pay," which will be $400 for qualified full-time associates and $200 for qualified part-time associates, will be paid out in two installments on May 30 and June 18, according to a press release.

The company's $130 million "Thank You Pay" bookends an "Appreciation Pay" first provided to frontline workers for their efforts at the start of the pandemic in March. It also follows multiple "Hero Bonuses" that were paid in April through mid-May, with a final payment by May 23, the release said.

"Our associates have been instrumental in feeding America while also helping to flatten the curve during the initial phases of the pandemic. To recognize and thank our associates for their incredible work during this historic time, we offered special pay in March, April and May," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO, in the release. "As the country moves toward reopening, we will continue to safeguard our associates' health and well-being and recognize their work. At the same time, we will continue running a sustainable business that provides steady employment and opportunities to learn and grow for over half a million associates."

Additionally, company leaders announced they will be continuing their "COVID-19 Emergency Leave guidelines" to provide paid time off to associates most directly affected by the virus or experiencing related symptoms.

"We want our associates to continue to feel supported in prioritizing their health," said Tim Massa, Kroger's senior vice president and chief people officer in the release. "Our associates should only be working if they are healthy and symptom free. By continuing paid emergency leave, our associates most directly affected by the virus or experiencing related symptoms should feel supported in staying home, promoting a safer environment to work and shop in."

The release outlined other ways the Kroger family of companies will continue to invest in, support and protect its associates: