SANTA MONICA—On Wednesday, March 10, the Santa Monica City Council announced they approved an emergency ordinance requiring large grocery store chains and drug retailers to provide their workers with an additional $5 an hour. The ordinance will go into effect immediately.

“Hero pay is about boosting wages in light of the elevated health risks grocery store and drug store chain employees experience every time they report to work indoors, interacting with large numbers of people and when they return home to their families,” said Mayor Sue Himmelrich. “This is a much-deserved recognition of the sacrifices these vital essential personnel have endured for the last year.”

The ordinance applies to operators of grocery stores, drug stores, and large retail stores that employ 300 or more workers nationwide, and employ more than 10 employees per store. Large retail stores are only required to pay the extra $5 per hour in hero pay if they dedicate more than 10 percent of their floor space to grocery or drug sales and occupy at least 85,000 square feet. The ordinance will be terminated after 120 days.

There will be a grace period through April 12 for any liability resulting from non-payment, but all accrued pay must be paid by the next pay date after April 12. Santa Monica will circulate legal notices to the applicable businesses to notify employees of their right to hero pay compensation.