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Kroger Backs Off Request For Some Workers To Return Emergency Pay

A Kroger grocery store in Dearborn, Mich.
Paul Sancya
Associated Press

Kroger is backing off demands that employees who were paid to stay home after exhibiting symptoms consistent with coronavirus repay those wages.

Pictures of letters that the Cincinnati-based company sent to employees went viral and sparked outrage on social media. After testing positive for COVID-19, exhibiting symptoms in line with the disease, or self-quarantining after possible exposure, some employees had been paid to stay home instead of work.

The letters said failure to repay could result in further collection efforts.

"We’ve instructed our payroll department to directly inform the small number of associates affected by the recent overpayments of Emergency Leave of Absence pay that we will not seek repayment," a Kroger statement said.

Last week, Kroger ended a bonus program dubbed “hero pay” while instituting new “thank you” bonuses.