late Friday became the latest retailer to plan on paying workers to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Kroger said it will provide a one-time payment of $100 to all associates who receive a full round of vaccine as recommended by the makers. In addition to the new vaccine payment, the company also said it plans to spend an additional $50 million “to thank and reward” employees, including store credit and points to be used for fueling. Employees who due to medical or religious reasons cannot receive the vaccine will have the option of completing an educational health and safety course to receive the payment, the company said. Kroger shares rose 0.3% in the extended session Friday after ending the regular trading day down 0.9%. Several retailers, including Instacart Inc. and Dollar General Corp.
have offered financial incentives to employees for the vaccine. Kroger was under criticism earlier this week as it said it will close two Southern California supermarkets in response to a local ordinance requiring extra pay for certain grocery employees working during the pandemic.