VISTA, Calif. — Dr. Bronner’s, a soap company based in San Diego’s North County, has been strongly encouraging workers to get their COVID-19 shot — and the business’ leadership is adding some serious cash incentives to that push.
“We had a day of PTO, [that] has been our main incentive and we’ve gotten up to 60% with that incentive as of mid-July,” CEO David Bronner said.
Now he would like to see an even higher percentage of employees vaccinated, so he and his brother, Michael Bronner, have decided to pay employees who show proof of vaccination to their human resources department $1,000.
“It’s not just an incentive for people who are on the fence. We also want to reward people or give them the incentive if they’ve already done it of their own volition,” Michael told FOX 5.
With about 300 employees, that could potentially be a $300,000 expense. But the Bronner brothers said it is more like an investment in their eyes.
Their soap sales skyrocketed throughout the pandemic, so this isn’t the first financial reward they’ve given their employees. Beginning in mid-2020, they gave employees who were willing to come in to work a raise called “Appreciation Pay.”
“Certain people could stay home, but people coming into work, we gave them an extra $2.50 an hour,” Michael Bronner said.
And every employee got a $5,000 COVID Bonus at the end of 2020.
Though the incentive seems to be working for employees, it’s also attracted criticism online. The majority of nearly 1,000 comments on the company’s Facebook page reject the idea of a vaccine incentive.
“You know, there’s people who think we’re getting a kickback from pharmaceutical companies … I swear, there is not a kickback scheme,” Michael Bronner said.
David Bronner added: “I appreciate people standing up for what they believe in, but my view of reality on this one is that vaccines are safe; we need them. It’s much more dangerous to not have a vaccinated population.”