By CBSLA Staff

SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — The Santa Ana City Council voted to approve a “hero pay” ordinance that would give a $4 boost to the pay of grocery and retail pharmacy workers.

The council voted 5-2 Tuesday to adopt the premium pay measure, which will go into effect immediately. The measure will expire after 120 days.

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“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,” officials said in a statement announcing the ordinance’s approval.

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The ordinance applies to large grocery stores and retail pharmacies that employ more than 300 workers across the country and more than 15 employees per location in Santa Ana. Stores will be required to pay these workers an extra $4 an hour on top of their existing pay, but if they are already providing a bump in accordance with the ordinance, it will be credited toward the additional $4 per hour premium.

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Santa Ana is following in the footsteps of Long Beach, Los Angeles, Montebello, Los Angeles County, Irvine and Coachella in a “hero pay” ordinance for essential workers. Kroger is fighting back against the ordinance in Long Beach, where the company announced they would close a Ralphs and a Food 4 Less in response.