Kroger earned $1.3 billion in profit during the first three months of 2020 — about 47% more than the company brought in during the same period in 2019. Grocery stores like it were among the only businesses allowed to stay open during spring shutdowns that paralyzed entire state economies. Business is good. But employees aren’t benefiting, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown said Friday. The hourly “hero pay” and “thank-you pay” bonuses they received in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic ended in June, even if the global crisis didn't.