The brewing industry is an essential part of the U.S. economy, and Molson Coors (TAP 0.89%) is taking steps to ensure that it can maintain an uninterrupted flow of alcoholic beverages to retailers and distributors across the country. Among the moves the beer giant announced on Friday are temporary pay boosts for its workers, plus more paid leave for employees impacted by the spread of COVID-19.

Two women drink beer outside.

Image source: Getty Images.

Molson Coors is allowing most at-risk employees the option of taking paid leave for the month of April at 60% of their regular wages. People whose work must be done on-site and who choose to continue working as usual will see enhanced safety measures including an aggressively sanitized work environment and new social-distancing protocols.

Employees paid hourly will also receive an extra $5 per hour of work during this period of higher risk of coronavirus exposure. For salaried employees who continue working, and whose work must be done on-site, Molson Coors will be issuing bonuses of $200 per week.

"These are challenging times for the world and our company," CEO Gavin Hattersley said in a press release, "and our priority is to ensure the safety of our people and the stability of our business."

The company said the moves are needed to help ensure the smooth operation of its brewery and distribution networks, and to protect and support its workers. Brewers are included in the federal government's designation of essential economic infrastructure, which means they should continue operating through any state or local stay-at-home orders.