COACHELLA (CBSLA) – The Riverside County city of Coachella became the first in the nation this week to give its farm workers a temporary “hero pay” hike for the risks associated with the nature of their work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Coachella City Council Wednesday approved a $4 per hour pay increase for workers in agriculture, along with those who work at grocery stores, restaurants and drug store chains.
Those who work in those sectors face “magnified risks of catching or spreading the COVID-19 disease because the nature of their work involves close contact with the public,” the ordinance read.
The pay increase will last for at least 120 days.
Several cities across the Southland have adopted $4 per hour hazard pay laws for grocery and drug store workers in recent weeks.
They include the cities of Long Beach, Montebello and Irvine. The Los Angeles City Council last week voted to move forward with a plan that will eventually see its grocery store workers get a $5 per hour pay hike.
The pay hike sparked controversy in Long Beach when retail giant Kroger announced it would be closing two stores in response, a Food 4 Less and a Ralphs.