At New Seasons Market, we strive to be the ultimate neighborhood grocery store not only for our customers, but also for our staff. Our commitment to staff and creating a positive and progressive culture is just as strong today as it was back when we were founded in 2000 – caring for, respecting, and empowering our employees is both the right thing to do and the only way to meet our goal of being the friendliest store in town.
Our staff brings our mission to be the ultimate neighborhood grocery store to life every day. We take good care of our staff and they take good care of our customers.
The care our customers feel when they shop our stores is a direct reflection of New Seasons Market being a progressive, caring employer with a strong track record of valuing and supporting our staff.
We always strive to hire employees from the communities where we’re located. In each of the communities we serve, we create jobs and hire directly from the neighborhood. We also work with a variety of job placement organizations, like Goodwill, Urban League, Oregon Commission for the Blind, and New Avenues for Youth, to recruit people who have experienced barriers to employment. We are committed to providing ongoing training and career opportunities so our staff can grow with us.
Our comprehensive pay and benefits package matches or, in many cases, exceeds that of our competitors. Our starting wage in the Portland region is $15 an hour. Since 2016, we have invested more than $11 million dollars into staff pay. Our robust healthcare plan provides exceptional coverage, including naturopathic, chiropractic, and acupuncture coverage, as well as dental and vision services, and is inclusive across the gender spectrum, all at rates 32 – 54% below the industry average. Despite skyrocketing healthcare costs, we have kept our health plans affordable for staff, with average rate increases of less than 4% over the past 3 years, compared to 10 – 25% increases across other plans.
We offer a flexible paid time off program that starts at two weeks per year and increases based on years of service. Our sick time policy significantly exceeds State of Oregon requirements and we also offer generous leaves beyond what is legally required. We are one of a few companies to offer a paid parental leave program that recognizes all parents and types of families. Our 401(k) program helps staff plan for retirement with a company match on their contributions. We offer a 50% staff discount on public transit passes. Through our Lend a Hand benefit, staff get 8 hours of paid volunteer time each year. Staff also enjoy a generous 20% discount on almost everything we sell. These benefits have contributed to one of the lowest turnover rates in the industry.
Our staff deserves to have a healthy and happy life outside of work, which is why we provide staff with predictable, regular schedules. Staff members are scheduled to work no more than five days in a row, with at least 2 consecutive days off, and at least 12 hours of rest between shifts. While schedules sometimes fluctuate due to business needs and staff requests, we make every effort to maintain consistency and post schedules 2 weeks in advance. Our unique “Lifestyle Scheduling” policy has been in place since we were founded in 2000, long before cities and states mandated “secure scheduling” practices.
Everyone at New Seasons Market has a voice and can share their ideas and concerns. We encourage and nurture a Speak Up culture, where staff is empowered to share feedback, shape our culture, and be involved in decisions that affect them. A great example of this is our attendance policy, in which over 100 staff members from across the company were actively involved in helping develop. We also recently updated our holiday pay policy based on staff feedback.
Our staff comes from all backgrounds, which is why we are a champion for social issues affecting our staff and our communities. We have campaigned for marriage equality and workplace protections for LGBTQIA employees, minimum wage increases, fair workweek regulations, paid parental and medical leave, and affordable housing. New Seasons Market has been recognized for our progressive transgender workplace policies, our support of employees with disabilities, and our advocacy of equality in employment by Basic Rights Oregon, the Urban League of Portland, and Portland Citizen’s Disability Advisory Committee, just to name a few
Food safety and quality are paramount to New Seasons Market. We comply with all food safety regulations and procedures, receive regular inspections from food safety agencies, and our staff complete all required food safety training, including all food service department managers and chefs completing ServSafe certification. We are dedicated to supporting the regional food economy and our staff develops long-term partnerships with local producers so we can offer the best products of the region and help small local makers and producers grow their businesses.
We’re proud to be the world’s first certified B Corp grocer, placing us in a community of over 3,100 “triple-bottom-line” companies around the world dedicated to using the power of business for good. This commitment to balancing people-planet-profit assures that we place as much value on taking care of our staff, our communities, and our environment, as we do on growing a profitable business.