- Shipt will pay up to $50 to its contract shoppers who get vaccinated against COVID-19 through at least June 1, the e-commerce company announced in a press release Wednesday. Shoppers will receive $25 for each vaccine dose they receive, and must have delivered at least 10 orders during the 30 days before receiving a shot to qualify for the corresponding payment. Hourly workers at Shipt's headquarters will receive paid time off to allow them to get vaccinated, the company said.
- Target, which owns Shipt, announced Wednesday that it will provide up to four hours of pay to frontline team members who get vaccinated — two hours for each dose. Target will also give employees Lyft vouchers worth up to $15 each way to cover transportation costs associated with getting vaccinated.
- Shipt’s and Target’s announcements follows similar moves by retailers including Instacart, Kroger, Dollar General, Aldi and Trader Joe’s to provide workers with financial incentives to encourage them to get vaccinated.
While companies in the grocery industry are increasingly offering compensation to workers who receive COVID-19 vaccinations, the amount and structure of those payments varies by chain. Lidl, for example, is paying its employees $200 to receive the vaccine, while Instacart is giving its shoppers, who, like Shipt's, are classified as independent contractors, just $25. Instacart is only requiring its workers to have handled five orders during the 30 days before getting vaccinated to be eligible for the extra pay, however.
Like other grocery sector employers, Shipt and Target are not requiring workers to receive coronavirus vaccinations. Experts say mandates requiring workers to get vaccinated could be tricky to enforce, which could be why companies are instead focused on giving their people reasons to voluntarily receive COVID-19 shots once they are eligible.
The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union has been pressing states to accelerate access to the vaccine for grocery workers, citing data that infections among people working in grocery, meat-packing and other food industry roles have been rising faster over the past two months than at any earlier point in the pandemic.
Guidance by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published in December also recommended that grocery workers be granted priority status in states’ vaccine rollouts. Just 13 U.S. states, including California, New York and Virginia, have specifically made frontline grocery workers eligible for vaccinations in at least some counties, according to an analysis by The New York Times.
Grocers are offering payments to employees who get vaccinated even as many resist restoring the hazard pay that was common across the industry at the earlier in the pandemic despite recording strong profits over the past year. Kroger, for example, has also publicly opposed new local ordinances that have been implemented in cities like Seattle, Los Angeles and Long Beach, California, fostering ill will among employees, many of whom have said the health risks they are taking have been overlooked by employers and state legislators alike.
Target paid out bonuses to over 375,000 frontline staff last month, paying $500 to hourly team members and $1,000 to $2,000 to frontline leaders in recognition of their work during the coronavirus health crisis.