COVID-19 Hazard Pay

​On March 9, 2021, the Board of Supervisors of the County of Santa Clara approved a Hazard Premium Ordinance which will compensate covered employees for the COVID-19 hazards they face at work.  Financial support will compensate workers for the risks and costs they incur to provide essential food and medicine to the community. In addition, temporary increased compensation will enable these workers to take greater precautions—such as securing personal protective equipment and not mixing with other households when commuting—that will slow the spread of COVID-19.​

Additionally on February 23, 2021, the San Jose City Council​ approved an ordinance establishing a $3-an-hour “Hazard Premium Pay” for covered workers of qualifying grocery stores within the City. The pay increase will become effective on March 26, 2021 and remain in effect for 120 days unless extended by Council.

Below is a summary of comparing the key provisions of the two Ordinances highlighting who is eligible and the effective dates.  


San José

Santa Clara County

Effective Dates

3/26/21 – 7/23/21 (120 days)

4/8/21 – 10/5/21 (180 days)

Geographic Scope

City of San José

Unincorporated areas of the county


$3.00 per hour

$5.00 per hour

Covered employer types

Grocery stores

Grocery stores, drugstores

Small business exemption

Threshold is 300+ employees nationwide, or participation in a franchise network with 300+ employees nationwide.

Threshold is either (1) 300+ employees nationwide plus 15+ in unincorporated areas of the county, or (2) part of franchise network with 300+ employees nationwide, plus owns at least 10 franchised establishments statewide

Covered employees

Anyone working at least 2 hours in a calendar week within the City, and who is entitled to at least the minimum wage.

Anyone earning up to 2x the state minimum wage (so, $28/hour for larger employers) for work performed in unincorporated areas of the county


Private right of action

Private right of action

Employer credit?

Yes, for bona fide hazard premiums paid continuously since 3/25/21

Yes, for bona fide hazard premiums paid continuously since 1/26/21

Waiver through collective bargaining?

Not mentioned



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