As the emerging public health crisis posed by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues to spread across California and the United States, the Centers for Disease Control has warned:
Workers in a drug store are at greater risk of exposure every day as they assist their community with remedies and medications to help prevent the spread of the flu and other diseases.
Unfortunately, Rite Aid has chosen to eliminate existing sick leave benefits for workers in Northern California under the prior UFCW and Employers Drug Trust "Gold Plan."
Under their prior sick leave plan, workers would earn up to 48 hours per year and could "bank" a maximum of 240 unused sick leave hours, which could be used in conjunction with an extended leave, if necessary.
If a worker began feeling ill, they had the necessary sick leave pay to stay home and quarantine themselves to prevent further spread of any disease without the fear of not being able to pay their rent or feed their families. Rite Aid has eliminated these benefits, reducing sick leave to the state minimum.
A recent article in the Washington Post referenced a paper by Stefan Pichler and Nicolas Robert Ziebarth which examined what happened in cities that implemented mandatory paid sick leave in the 2000s. Their main findings are shown in the chart below:
Questions regarding the company’s benefit plan changes can be answered by Rite Aid at (800)343-1390.
We are still in the process of bargaining a new contract with Rite Aid. We will keep you informed as negotiations progress.