The Lakeland-based grocery chain announced Friday that employees will get a $125 Publix gift card after they receive a complete vaccination.
Employees of the 1,267 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia are not required to get the vaccine but it is encouraged.
"Getting vaccinated can help us take one step closer to getting back to normal," said Publix CEO Todd Jones. "We’re encouraging our associates to get vaccinated when they become eligible and doses are available."
According to a press release, associates must be currently employed, submit an internal form and proof of vaccination from any site, not just a Publix pharmacy.
The release did not mention any age restrictions, though Florida is currently offering the vaccine only to those over 65.
As the COVID-19 pandemic began last year, some employees criticized Publix for not initially allowing them to wear masks and gloves while working, and also for failing to immediately mandate masks for customers.
A lawsuit filed in November contends that a 70-year-old deli employee was fatally infected in March of 2020 by another employee who came to work with COVID-19. A South Florida judge refused to dismiss the case earlier this month.