Nicole Hallett on Why Amazon and Other Companies Are Ending Hazard Pay for Essential Workers

What is hazard pay, and why are Amazon and other companies ending it for essential workers?

As the shutdown orders went into effect two months ago, several American companies began offering hazard pay to essential employees, such as retail, grocery and health care workers.

Now, some of those companies, such as Amazon, RiteAid and Kroger, are ending their hazard pay policies. Yet the risk to these workers remains the same, and the pandemic continues to rage, with tens of thousands of new coronavirus cases in the U.S. and over 1,000 deaths a day.

As a labor and employment law expert, I study how employers respond to economic incentives and how labor laws can ensure that workers get paid a living wage.

If the risk to essential workers has not gone down, why is their pay decreasing?

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