Hy-Vee abruptly ends its employee discount program, alleging abuse
OMAHA, Neb. (Nebraska) – Hy-Vee employees were notified on Monday that they will no longer receive a 10% discount on in-store purchases; but the company says it’s working to “revamp the program.”
Acknowledging the abrupt end of the employee discount on Monday, a senior Hy-Vee official said in an email that the program was stopped because some employees were abusing the benefit. The grocery store chain is Iowa’s largest private employer, with 93,000 employees in eight states.
The discount in effect at West Des Moines-based Hy-Vee since 2019 has allowed employees, plus a member of their family, to get a 10 percent discount at the supermarket chain.
“In recent months, we have identified a significant increase in the number of users using the discount for employees who did not live in the same household or who lived in other cities, in addition to other fraudulent practices and loopholes that were occurring within the program,” Tina Potthoff, senior vice president of communications for Hy-Vee, said in the email. “The discrepancies we found were significant enough to signal a much larger problem that needed to be addressed immediately.”
Company officials said the updated employee benefits program would launch by mid-April.
Meanwhile, employees are not without benefits, the spokesperson said. According to the email, the regional food chain is proud to offer its employees “one of the most competitive and comprehensive benefits packages in the retail industry,” including:
- Free Hy-Vee Plus Premium Membershipwhich includes perks like free delivery, exclusive discounts, and giveaways.
- Benefits for workers which include a 401(k) plan with a matching contribution, accelerated payroll services, vacation pay, and health insurance for eligible part-time employees that includes an employer contribution and free telehealth visits on some plans.
- Discounts on RedBoxRx.com pharmaceutical orders, access to Care.com to connect with service providers, and other benefits through PerkSpot.com, including discounts on childcare, electronics, cell phone plans, and entertainment.
- Career development opportunities include up to $10,500 in annual tuition assistance with Bellevue University. In addition, immediate family members of Hy-Vee employees are eligible for up to $2,500 annually in tuition assistance.
Read Hy-Vee’s full statement
On Friday, February 17, Hy-Vee notified its employees that its employee discount program would be suspended effective today, February 20, so it could be renewed in the coming weeks. This program originally launched in 2019 with specific guidelines that would allow employees and a member of their family to use a 10% employee discount per day. In recent months, we have identified a significant increase in the number of users using the discount for employees who did not live in the same household or who lived in other cities, in addition to other fraudulent practices and loopholes that were occurring within the program . The discrepancies found were significant enough to signal a much larger problem that needed to be addressed immediately. We are currently revamping the program with the goal of relaunching the benefit for our employees by mid-April. We still offer one of the most competitive and comprehensive benefits packages in the retail industry. These benefits include some of the following:
• A free Hy-Vee Plus premium membership, which includes free delivery and express online Hy-Vee Aisles collection plus other free monthly items, exclusive discounts and other benefits.
• Weekly payment as the fastest and most convenient way to receive a salary.
• A 401(k) plan with a matching contribution
• Holiday pay for retail employees.
• Part-time insurance with an employer contribution based on eligibility.
• Professional development opportunities through Hy-Vee University.
• Up to $10,500 in annual tuition assistance with Bellevue University, plus immediate family of Hy-Vee employees can receive up to $2,500 in annual tuition assistance from Hy-Vee.
• Free Doctor on Demand telehealth visits with select insurance plans.
• A 10% employee discount on RedBoxRx.com pharmacy orders.
• Access to Care.com to connect with service providers to care for families, pets and more.
• Exclusive benefits through PerkSpot.com, including discounts on child care, electronics, phone subscriptions, entertainment and more.
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