CAST YOUR VOTE IN THE BEST OF ORLANDO READERS POLL

Friday, March 27, 2020

Here’s the petition calling for Publix employees to receive hazard pay

Posted By on Fri, Mar 27, 2020 at 3:59 PM

click to enlarge PHOTO VIA PUBLIX/FACEBOOK
  • Photo via Publix/Facebook
Earlier this week, Lakeland-based grocer giant Publix announced that an employee has tested positive for COVID-19. Now an online petition dubbed “Give Publix Employees Hazard Pay” is circulating, and it calls for a major change in the company’s pay policy.

“During this national emergency, Publix is making record profit,” wrote the creator of the campaign, whose name is simply written as K P. “Publix should pay all employees time and a half to compensate for any health-related expenses that may come up during the COVID-19 pandemic.”



The petition called for 500 signatures, and had 407 at the time of writing this.

Grocery stores have been deemed as “essential” places that must remain open under a “stay-at-home” order — which goes into effect for Hillsborough County on March 27 — meaning that Publix employees cannot stay home unless they “exhibit cold symptoms,” according to Maria Brous, a Publix communication director. If that happens, they cannot return to work for 72 hours, said Brous.
However, a recent New York Times article said that Publix has an estimated 89,000 employees without paid sick leave. Creative Loafing Tampa Bay recently spoke with Publix employees, who say they’ve been sent home for wearing face masks because they might “scare away customers.”

One employee, who wished to remain anonymous, said he was personally told by a manager not to wear gloves on the floor. Some people are scared, said the employee, adding that many associates (of all ages) have since quit over coronavirus concerns.

Publix employees have, however, been compensated with $50 gift cards.

On Wednesday, Publix announced that it would install plexiglass barriers at registers, customer service desks and pharmacies. The company added that these barriers will take up to two weeks to install at company locations.

click to enlarge PHOTO VIA PUBLIX/FACEBOOK
  • Photo via Publix/Facebook
This story originally appeared in Creative Loafing Tampa Bay.
_
Please follow CDC guidelines and Orange County advisories to stay safe, and please support this free publication. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you news on how coronavirus is affecting Central Florida. Please consider making a one-time or monthly donation. Every little bit helps.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

July 8, 2020

View more issues

Calendar

© 2020 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation