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

Downtown Chicago hit by widespread looting

Police officers inspect a damaged Best Buy in Chicago that was looted and vandalized. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Chicago police responded to hundreds of people looting stores and causing widespread property damage in the city's downtown overnight, resulting in at least one exchange of gunfire, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The state of play: Police superintendent David Brown said the event was a coordinated response after an officer shot a suspect on Sunday evening, per CBS Chicago.

McDonald's sues former CEO, alleging he lied about relationships with employees

Former McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

McDonald's on Monday sued its former CEO Steve Easterbrook, seeking to recoup tens of millions in severance benefits while alleging he took part in and concealed undisclosed relationships with company employees, per the New York Times.

Why it matters: Corporations have traditionally chosen to ignore executive misbehavior to avoid bad press, but they have become more proactive — especially with the rise of the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements — in addressing issues head-on.

The transformation of the Fed

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Federal Reserve is undergoing an overhaul. Conceived to keep inflation in check and oversee the country's money supply, the central bank is now essentially directing the economy and moving away from worries about rising prices.

What we're hearing: The move to act less quickly and forcefully to tamp down on inflation has been in the works for years, but some economists fear that the Fed is moving too far from its original mandate.