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vaccination nation

Kroger to reportedly end paid emergency leave for unvaccinated workers who contract COVID-19

Kroger is reportedly set to end some benefits for employees who aren't vaccinated against COVID-19. 

The grocery chain recently told its employees that it won't provide two weeks' paid emergency leave to employees who contract COVID-19 and are not vaccinated unless required by local jurisdictions, The Wall Street Journal reports. Additionally, the company will reportedly impose a $50 monthly surcharge on health plans for unvaccinated nonunion workers. 

Both of these policies are reportedly set to go into effect on Jan. 1. They reportedly don't apply to employees who have had medical or religious vaccine exemptions approved. 

This comes after the Biden administration announced a requirement that employers with 100 or more workers require employees to either by vaccinated or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing beginning in January. The mandate was blocked in November by a federal appeals court, which said it raises "grave statutory and constitutional issues." 

Kroger's move also comes after Delta Air Lines in August announced it would impose a $200-per month health insurance surcharge for its employees who aren't vaccinated, with CEO Ed Bastian saying at the time, "The average hospital stay for COVID-19 has cost Delta $50,000 per person. This surcharge will be necessary to address the financial risk the decision to not vaccinate is creating for our company." According to The Hill, the company by October announced that its vaccination rate had passed 90 percent.