Sen. Chuck Schumer in 2016 reviewing post-Sandy work by the Army Corps of Engineers. Defense Dept. photo

Bill offers hazard pay for essential workers, including feds

Senate Democrats are introducing legislation aimed at giving hazard pay to essential frontline workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

In a call with reporters on April 7, Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) said that they were introducing a legislative package to give essential workers a premium pay increase of up to $25,000.

Frontline federal employees would also be granted the new benefit.

"Gratitude is not enough," Murray said. "These workers deserve to be treated properly."

The fund would not only support health care workers but other essential workers such as grocery store workers, truck drivers and transit operators.

Schumer said that the extra pay would be equivalent to a $13 per hour raise for essential workers.

The added pay would apply from the beginning of the public health emergency through the end of the year.

The lawmakers also said they would establish an "essential worker recruitment incentive" fund in order to recruit and retain medical personnel and grant them payments of up to $15,000.

"These workers are keeping our country operational in a time of the greatest need," Casey said. "Healthcare workers and first responders deserve a special debt of gratitude."

Reader comments

Mon, Aug 3, 2020

I'm quiting my job and staying home because I can make more money doing so! I been working my butt off everyday showing up for work during this pandemic and so have my co workers! 2 people have died in my job so far and many more sick and we have been treated so unfair! Havent received any compensation but yet the government continues to compensate too generously to people who are sitting home being safe at home. Some of the unemployed that I know were already unemployed before the pandemic! This is ridiculous! I want my hazard pay for putting myself and my children at risk for this country

Wed, Jul 22, 2020 Michael Pascagoula, MS

Huntington ingalls was deemed essential and has yet to compensate the men and women who show up every day and do Thier jobs. Just today there was 28 cases. The numbers are growing. Why isn't America's shipyard paying us essential workers hazard pay? Profits of billions a year and nothing..... On top of this, I was told, the management will not get raises this year but a lump sum "bump" that would be a percentage of Thier normal salary?????? Why would anyone want a management position with a company that does this? Unfair to say the least.

Mon, Jul 20, 2020 Jackson ms

I am a nurse and work on the covid units and have not received nothing nor has any of my co-workers!! Doesn’t look like their worried about frontline workers to me!!

Sat, Jul 18, 2020 Robin Young Mississippi

I am an essential healthcare worker at a nursing home facility. We have been working understaffed dealing with this covid 19, taking risk working instead of staying home and collecting unemployment that is more pay than I make working. I want to be compensated for taking care of people who their on families can't or just don't want to take care of. How do I know if my facility received compensation and not us.?

Fri, Jul 17, 2020

I work for a mass transit in PA and the company was given 21. Million dollar and not one cent was given to us for being a essential worker, not only that our government and governor doesn’t see us as a essential worker on the front line keeping America running under these conditions putting our lives and family in danger every day. No Hazzard pay for us.

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