Thu. Feb 9th, 2023

SANTA ANA, Calif. – The Santa Ana City Council has approved an ordinance establishing premium pay of an additional $4 per hour for grocery and retail pharmacy workers whose essential jobs put them at risk of contracting COVID-19.



The City Council voted 5-2 on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, to adopt the premium pay measure as an urgency ordinance, which means it immediately went into effect. The premium pay requirement will expire after 120 days.

Grocery and pharmacy employees are essential workers who perform services that are fundamental to the economy and health of the community during the COVID-19 crisis. They work in high-risk conditions with inconsistent access to protective equipment and other safety measures, work in public situations with limited ability to engage in physical distancing, and are continually exposed to the spread of disease.

Among the ordinance’s provisions:

• The ordinance applies to certain grocery stores and retail pharmacies (“hiring entities”) that employ over 300 workers nationally and more than 15 employees per grocery store location or retail pharmacy location in Santa Ana.
• A “grocery store” means a store that devotes 70 percent or more of its business to retailing a general range of food products, and/or a store that has at least 10,000 square feet of floor space dedicated to retailing a general range of food products.
• “Retail pharmacy” means a corporate or chain (three or more locations nationally) pharmacy or publicly-traded company that is licensed as a pharmacy by the State of California and that dispenses medications to the general public at retail prices.
• The ordinance requires hiring entities to provide each designated worker with premium pay consisting of an additional $4 cash per hour for each hour worked.
• For the purposes of the ordinance, “designated worker” means a grocery worker or retail pharmacy worker employed by a hiring entity who is entitled to premium pay pursuant to the ordinance.
• If a grocery store or retail pharmacy already provides hourly premium pay in accordance with the ordinance, such compensation may be credited toward the additional $4 per hour of premium.
• The ordinance requires premium pay for designated workers for 120 days, beginning on the effective date of the ordinance.
• Grocery stores and retail pharmacies must advise their employees of their rights under the ordinance, including their right to premium pay guaranteed by the ordinance.
• A designated worker that suffers financial injury as a result of a violation of the ordinance or is the subject of retaliation may bring a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction against the hiring entity or other person violating the ordinance.

Read the ordinance at https://bit.ly/2MKMLpt.

About Santa Ana

Santa Ana is downtown for the world famous Orange County, California. It is the County Seat, the second-most populous city in Orange County, and is home to a vibrant evening scene and arts community. About three-quarters of the City’s residents are Latino. Over 1,200 City employees work hard every day to deliver efficient public services in partnership with our community to ensure public safety, a prosperous economic environment, opportunities for our youth, and a high quality of life for residents. Learn more at www.santa-ana.org.

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

4 thoughts on “The Santa Ana City Council mandates higher pay for grocery and pharmacy workers”
  1. How will the pharmacy and grocery stores survive this? Not only that, but that just means they’re going to pass the additional fees onto the consumer which will just force people to go to other cities and shop there for the next 4 months plus months. What’s this new city council thinking? Money does not just grow on trees.

    1. Are you really defending multi million dollar corporations that have stores nationwide ? Can you be anymore of a sheep ?

      1. I’m also thinking how the smaller independent grocery stores that are at or over 10,000 square feet will survive. What about those smaller then 10,000 square feet, but employ 20 people? Now go figure, they’re going to increase it for 4 months, then what? And will they be taxed on this increase? If so, that increase is roughly only $2.80 an hour if they’re taxed at 30% (which is a rough estimate). Now lets talk about other potential issues which will arise. Let’s talk about those that are on welfare (medi-cal/ food stamps/ cash aid). All that income must be reported. That will likely make many people ineligible to free medical and lower or eliminate their cash assistance and food stamps. So let’s pay them “$4” an hour more, but lets take away $1.20 for taxes and eliminate their health care and other resources. So yes, they make more, but lose a lot more. So if i’m a sheep, BAHHHH freakin BAHHHH.

        And I know about the medical/food stamps/cash aid because I used to be employed for social services for many many years before leaving.

        1. I can tell your lying. Quit talking out the side of your neck. None of what you said will happened including the 4 dollar raise which you think will destroy everyone and everything because whatever are we going to do with the price hike that will follow. Oh my everyone will be left out because they will no longer be able to apply for the benefits. If you really was an employee before you would know that not how things work. Now go follow Mary you little lamb.

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