Grocery Employee Hazard Pay

GEHP Ordinance

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GEHP Fact Sheet

Update: On August 3, 2022, City Council voted to suspend the requirement to provide hazard pay under the Grocery Employee Hazard Pay (GEHP) ordinance. This suspension is effective on September 2, 2022. Under the GEHP ordinance, certain grocery businesses in Seattle were required to pay $4 per hour to their employees beginning on February 3, 2021 through September 1, 2022.

Beginning on September 2, 2022 the following requirements apply:

  • Suspension of hazard pay: the law no longer requires covered employers to pay hazard pay of $4 per hour to employees.
  •  Notice of rights: covered employers must provide a Notice of Rights for a period of one year until September 2, 2023.
  • Enforcement: Employees with complaints that their employer failed to pay hazard pay between February 3, 2021 and September 2, 2022 can still contact the Office of Labor Standards (OLS) with their complaints for three years (until September 3, 2025).  Please do not delay contacting the office to ensure you may exercise your rights under this ordinance. You can contact OLS by calling (206) 256-5297 or contact us online by filling out this form (click here).

About this Law: This law required certain grocery businesses in Seattle to pay $4 per hour to their employees during the COVID-19 emergency. Businesses must provide their employees with hazard pay on established, regular pay day on which wages are paid, and are prohibited from taking steps to reduce employee compensation because of this ordinance. The law also requires grocery businesses to post a notice of rights at their stores.  OLS encourages stores to update this notice of rights with information about the end of the requirement.

Covered grocery businesses are ones that employ more than 500 employees worldwide and are either:

  1. over 10,000 square feet in size and primarily enaged in retailing groceries for offsite consumption; or
  2. over 85,000 square feet, with 30 percent or more of its sales floor area dedicated to sale of groceries.   

The ordinance would not impact convenience stores or food marts primarily selling a limited line of goods.

Translations: GEHP Fact Sheets are available in Amharic, Simplified Chinese, Somali, Spanish and Tagalog on the OLS Languages webpage.