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Grocery store hazard pay lawsuit gets appealed after dismissal by federal judge

Mar 20, 2021, 8:17 AM | Updated: Mar 22, 2021, 11:17 am
Grocery store hazard pay...
(MyNorthwest Photo)
(MyNorthwest Photo)

The Northwest Grocery Association (NGA) and Washington Food Industry Association (WFIA) have officially appealed their lawsuit to overturn Seattle’s grocery store hazard pay ordinance.

The lawsuit had been thrown out of court on Thursday by a U.S. District judge, who argued that none of the three primary arguments levied by plaintiffs stood up to legal scrutiny.

Seattle city leaders and local unions widely praised the dismissal.

“This is a big win for grocery store employees who have been critical and vulnerable frontline workers since the start of the pandemic,” City Attorney Pete Holmes said Thursday. “We brought strong legal arguments to prevail today.”

“This is a big win for grocery store workers who deserve this hazard pay and also a big win for all the other municipalities out there considering passing their own hazard pay ordinance that these laws are legal and will withstand the bullying lawsuits of the industry,” UFCW 21 President Faye Guenther said in a written release.

The NGA and WFIA, though, expressed that they were “disappointed” in Thursday’s ruling, and felt “strongly that our arguments had merit and that these ordinances are unfair and do nothing to protect workers from COVID-19.”

Their case will now head to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Plaintiffs continue to ask for a preliminary injunction to halt the ordinance while the lawsuit plays out.

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Grocery store hazard pay lawsuit gets appealed after dismissal by federal judge