Wegmans is offering buyouts to full-time workers age 58 and older who have worked at the company’s stores for at least 15 years.
Employees who take the buyout will receive two weeks’ pay for every year on the job and continuation of health insurance for six months. Wegmans will continue to pay 85 percent of health insurance costs for six months.
“This is possible because of our continued growth and success as a company and the fact that New York State stores are very well-staffed, with low turnover,” said Jo Natale, a Wegmans spokeswoman.
Buyouts are being offered only to full-time store workers in New York State.
It’s the first time the company has offered buyouts to store workers and is being described as a “one-time, voluntary” offer. Store managers met one-on-one with eligible employees over the last few weeks to present the program.
When asked how the buyouts might benefit Wegmans, Natale said, “This benefits our employees.”
The move could save Wegmans some money by allowing it to replace older, higher-paid workers with less-experienced, lower-paid workers, said Brian Becker, a human resources professor and senior associate dean at the University at Buffalo School of Management.
“I think there’s a tendency to ask, ‘What’s the catch?’ ” Becker said. But the fact that a move might benefit the company doesn’t mean it’s bad for workers, he said.
“The employees are only going to take advantage of it if it works for them, so it sounds like a win-win for the company and the employees,” Becker said.
Wegmans employs more than 25,000 people in New York State, but the company expects fewer than 100 people to participate in the buyouts.
Employees have until later this month to make a decision. Those who do opt to take the buyout can work up to and including Dec. 27.