Worker Complaints Lead California Labor Commissioner to Cite Three El Super Grocery Stores $447,836 for Not Providing COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave

Some workers were forced to work while they had COVID-19 symptoms

The California Labor Commissioner’s Office cited three El Super grocery stores in Southern California for failing to provide or delaying supplemental paid sick leave or other benefits to 96 workers impacted by COVID-19.

In some instances, sick workers at El Super were told to come to work until they received their test results even when they had COVID-19 symptoms.

The citations were issued to Bodega Latina Corporation, a Delaware corporation doing business as El Super, El Super Fresh, or Fiesta Mart from California to Texas. Grupo Comercial Chedraui is the parent company of Bodega Latina. Grupo Comercial Chedraui announced in May 2021 it entered an agreement to purchase Smart & Final which operates 254 stores in California, Arizona, and Nevada, as well as 16 stores in Northwestern Mexico operated through a joint venture with Grupo Calimax which is controlled by some members of the Fimbres family.

Supplemental paid sick leave “is a tool to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said California Labor Commissioner Lilia García-Brower in a press release. “Supplemental paid sick leave is intended to protect workers from being forced to choose between their health and providing for their families. These violations expose workers, their families and El Super’s customers to unnecessary health risks.”

The California Department of Industrial Relations stated that anyone who currently works or has worked at El Super in California who believes their employer refused to provide paid sick leave or COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave as required by law is encouraged to call the Labor Commissioner’s Office confidential Paid Sick Leave Hotline at (855-526-7775) and leave their contact information. All workers can also call the California Labor Commissioner’s Office to ask questions or get more information on how to file a wage claim for paid sick leave at 833-LCO-INFO (833-526-4636).

The full press release from the California Department of Industrial Relations is available here: