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Protesting for higher pay outside of a Boston Whole Foods. Photo: Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Although some companies have temporarily raised wages as a form of hazard pay for essential workers, the majority have not.

By the numbers: Those offering hazard pay include 46% of grocers and other essential retailers and 29% of health-related employers, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: The argument for hazard pay is simple: Compensation should account for risks taken at work. "In the investment world, the more risk you take, the more money you make," says UFCW's Perrone. "In this case, we have workers taking more risks and being more productive."

What's happening: Some lawmakers have proposed including hazard pay for essential workers as part of the next coronavirus relief package.

  • Sen. Mitt Romney's "Patriot Pay" plan would give up to $12 an hour in bonuses to those making under $50,000 a year.
  • House Democrats' proposal, released today, includes a $200 billion "Heroes Fund" to provide hazard pay to essential workers.

The bottom line: Without federal action, pay for low-wage essential workers will dwindle back to pre-pandemic levels, as more and more firms follow Kroger's example.

Go deeper

Aug 18, 2020 - Economy & Business

Coronavirus brings a wave of early retirements

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios. Photo by George Rinhart/Corbis via Getty Images.

The coronavirus is already triggering early retirements. That's bad news for the American economy, experts say.

Why it matters: "It’s a missed opportunity if people are being forced to retire early," London Business School's Scott says. "There's a big impact on their lifetime earnings and a big impact on lifetime expenditures. And that has macroeconomic consequences."

Beauty giant Coty Cosmetics looking to sell its own branded products

Coty Cosmetics CEO Sue Nabi. Photo: Axios on HBO

Coty Cosmetics CEO Sue Nabi tells Axios the beauty giant will “probably” introduce Coty-branded products one day.

Why it matters: Coty produces some of the world’s most popular fragrances, skin care products and color cosmetics on behalf of other well-known brands, but has shied away from producing its own branded products.

45 mins ago - Sports

NFL to end race-based testing in concussion settlements

Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

The National Football League on Wednesday reached an agreement with former players to end the controversial practice of race-based adjustments in dementia testing, AP reports.

Why it matters: The deal, which must still be approved by a judge, comes amid a broader discussion of racial inequities in health care.