Essential Workers Hazard Bill Pay

#Ensuring Hazard Pay for Essential Workers During Public Health Emergencies

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical role that essential workers play in maintaining society’s basic functioning. From healthcare staff to grocery store employees, essential workers have put their health at risk by continuing to work during public health crises. To compensate them for this hazard, a bill called the “COVID-19 Essential Workers Hazard Pay Act” has been proposed in Congress.

Background on Essential Workers During COVID-19

When stay-at-home orders went into effect in early 2020, essential businesses were permitted to continue operating. Employees of these businesses effectively became essential workers, required to interact with the public despite the health risks.

Some of the industries considered essential include:

  • Healthcare – doctors, nurses, hospital staff
  • Food and agriculture – grocery clerks, farmers, food processing plants
  • Transportation – airline, bus, railway, and public transit workers
  • Energy and utilities – electric, gas, water, wastewater employees
  • Police, fire, and emergency response

Many essential workers are people of color and come from low-income backgrounds. They’ve faced high rates of COVID-19 infection while keeping our society functioning.

The Need for Hazard Pay

Working during public health emergencies like COVID-19 poses clear health risks for essential employees. However, most employers have not provided sufficient compensation for this hazard.

One survey found that only 13% of essential workers received hazard pay during the pandemic. For bearing the brunt of community transmission, essential workers believe they deserve additional compensation.

Proponents argue hazard pay:

  • Provides monetary recognition of the health risks essential workers take
  • May allow essential workers to take extra health precautions
  • Helps compensate for childcare costs and other pandemic difficulties
  • Could incentivize people to take essential jobs

Overview of the COVID-19 Essential Workers Hazard Pay Act

To ensure essential workers receive hazard pay during the COVID-19 pandemic, a bill called the “COVID-19 Essential Workers Hazard Pay Act” was introduced in Congress in late 2020.

Key provisions of the bill include

  • $13 per hour premium on top of regular wages for essential workers
  • Hazard pay eligibility for workers making under $200,000 per year
  • Applies to employers with over 500 employees
  • Covers period from January 27, 2020 until a year after the pandemic ends

The premium essentially acts as a raise for essential employees who have risked exposure to COVID-19 on the job. Employers would pay the hazard premiums, while having half those costs covered by federal payroll tax credits.

Progress and Challenges of the Hazard Pay Bill

The COVID-19 Essential Workers Hazard Pay act was introduced in the House of Representatives in November 2020. The bill gained 50 Democratic cosponsors by December 2020.

However, the bill has not yet been brought to a vote. Challenges and opposition includes

  • Concerns over the large federal expenditure required
  • Uncertainty about which workers would qualify and how funds would be allocated
  • The administrative burden for businesses to implement hazard pay
  • Belief by some that hazard pay is unnecessary or too costly

Despite these hurdles, proponents continue advocating for the bill’s passage to support essential workers. As new COVID-19 variants spread, the need for compensating frontline workers remains.

Hazard Pay Supports Essential Workers and Communities

Essential employees have undertaken significant health risks to provide critical services during the pandemic. Hazard pay offers them additional compensation for this burden.

If implemented, hazard pay would recognize essential workers’ sacrifices. It may help them access healthcare, take leave when sick, and gain financial stability. Providing hazard compensation would also demonstrate our society’s gratitude for essential workers shouldering the brunt of COVID-19.

While political challenges remain, the COVID-19 Essential Workers Hazard Pay Act would provide concrete support for those we depend on in public health emergencies. Essential workers are advocating for themselves, believing their service warrants this compensation. Hazard pay legislation underscores that we have a collective responsibility to ensure the health, safety and stability of essential workers, who in turn provide for the health of our communities.

Essential Workers Hazard Bill Pay

Senate Bill S913 2023-2024 Legislative Session

  • Introduced
    • In Committee Assembly
    • In Committee Senate
    • On Floor Calendar Assembly
    • On Floor Calendar Senate
    • Passed Assembly
    • Passed Senate
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed By Governor

Do you support this bill?

Please enter your contact information First Name Last Name Email Address A valid email address is required. Home address is used to determine the senate district in which you reside. Your support or opposition to this bill is then shared immediately with the senator who represents you.

Optional services from the NY State Senate:

Include a custom message for your Senator? (Optional) Enter a message to your senator. Many New Yorkers use this to share the reasoning behind their support or opposition to the bill. Others might share a personal anecdote about how the bill would affect them or people they care about. Actions

Assembly Actions – Lowercase Senate Actions – UPPERCASE
Jan 03, 2024 referred to labor
Jan 09, 2023 referred to labor

2023-S913 (ACTIVE) – Details

Establishes an essential workers bill of rights; provides that all employers shall provide essential workers with personal protective equipment, inform such workers of exposure to any disease related to a state disaster emergency, and not retaliate for any report of an unsafe work environment; provides certain employers shall make hazard payments and cover the costs of any child care or health care needed by such essential workers for the duration of the state disaster emergency.

Many big are ending hazard pay for essential workers

What is the hazard pay for essential workers act of 2020?

Hazard Pay for Essential Workers Act of 2020 This bill provides an additional $13 per hour of premium pay to employees performing specified essential work up to a maximum of $10,000 during and shortly after the COVID-19.

How much hazard pay do essential workers get?

Essential workers whose basic pay is $200,000 or more per year are eligible to receive a maximum $5,000 hazard pay premium. Employers will be permitted to deduct payroll taxes from all hazard pay premium payments that it transfers to employees. 5. How would essential workers sign up for hazard pay?

Did the Federal hazard pay bill include essential workers?

That bill did not include any hazard pay for essential workers. It also excluded new state and local aid, which would shore up struggling state and local government budgets with the funds necessary to keep public sector frontline essential workers employed. The result was dimmed prospects for any federal hazard pay.

Does the Heroes Act provide hazard pay funding for essential workers?

Nearly a week ago, the House passed The Heroes Act which provides $200 billion in hazard pay funding for essential workers, among many other things. Hazard pay questions are now flying in just as they did with the topic of the second stimulus check. Here are the facts on seven key areas for essential workers and hazard pay.

Leave a Comment