Portland, Oregon-based New Seasons Market announced on Tuesday that it is increasing the starting pay to $15 per hour for all staff across its Oregon, Washington and California locations in 2019. As part of the announcement, New Seasons' sister company, New Leaf Community Markets, is doing the same for staff in Northern California.

“New Seasons Market and New Leaf Community Markets are committed to supporting staff with competitive pay and benefits as part of our founding values,” says Kristi McFarland, co-president of New Seasons Market. “We want to attract and retain the best people, and have been listening and responding to staff suggestions to assist their growth with the company and help our communities thrive.”

The increase in pay is part of a multi-year strategy by New Seasons that has resulted in a 50 percent increase in starting pay for the region since 2015. The company also says it is increasing wage scales, more frequent pay increases, adjustments based on time with the company, and a simplified review process for more predictable pay progression. According the the company, more than 80 percent of New Seasons and New Leaf clerks will see an increase in pay in February. 

“These updates have been our goal since our most recent major investment in starting pay in 2016 and we are happy to be able to make it happen even earlier than planned,” says Forrest Hoffmaster, co-president of New Seasons Market. “The grocery industry, as one of the largest employers of hourly workers, has an opportunity to improve equity and livability for the people working in stores, and we’re proud to be a leader in this area.”