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Aldi becomes latest company to pay employees to take Covid-19 vaccine

NBC News logo NBC News 1/20/2021 Minyvonne Burke
a person standing in front of a building © Provided by NBC News

Aldi became the latest company to offer its employees a payment incentive to get the Covid-19 vaccine.

In a press release Tuesday, the grocery chain said it would provide hourly workers with two hours of pay for each dose they receive, totaling up to four hours. They will also work with salaried employees who want to receive the vaccine.

"The company is working closely with state and local officials across the U.S. to ensure front-line workers remain prioritized, and today Aldi unveiled its plan to support employees," the grocery chain said.

"Aldi is ensuring that all hourly workers who wish to receive the vaccine are able to do so without concern about losing pay or taking time away from work."

The chain has more than 2,000 stores across 36 states and employs over 25,000 people.

In addition, Aldi said it will cover any costs associated with the administration of the shot and is exploring the possibility of on-site vaccination clinics at its warehouse and office locations to make it easier for workers to get the vaccine.

“Providing accommodations so employees can receive this critical vaccine is one more way we can support them and eliminate the need to choose between earning their wages and protecting their well-being," Aldi U.S. CEO Jason Hart said in a statement.

Last week, three other companies announced similar plans. Dollar General said it would give hourly team members a one-time payment of four hours of regular pay after they received both doses of the vaccine. Salaried workers would receive "additional store labor hours to accommodate their time away from the store," the store said.

In addition to giving workers two hours of pay per vaccine dose, Trader Joe's said it plans to shift around schedules to make sure employees have time to get vaccinated.

Beginning Feb. 1, Instacart shift leads, in-store shoppers and full-service shoppers in the U.S. and Canada will receive financial assistance in the form of a $25 stipend after they are vaccinated.

"In addition to the Vaccine Support Stipend, the company is also redistributing free personal protective equipment (PPE) to any shopper in need throughout the remainder of the COVID-19 pandemic," the grocery delivery and pickup service said.

The Food and Drug Administration has already approved two vaccines, from Moderna and Pfizer, for emergency use. They both require two shots spaced out weeks apart.

As of Jan. 19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that more than 1.6 million were people fully vaccinated.

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