Senate democrats unveil new coronavirus 'hazard pay' proposal

Posted at 4:10 PM, Apr 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-07 16:36:36-04

WASHINGTON D.C. — Tuesday, Senator Gary Peters unveiled proposed legislation to "provide pandemic premium pay to reward, retain and recruit frontline and essential workers."

According to Peters, the legislation would help create the COVID-19 “Heroes Fund”. He says essential frontline workers would receive an extra $13 per hour for up to $25,000 through the rest of 2020. The fund would also include a recruitment incentive of $15,000 "for first responders, health and home care workers to attract the workforce needed to fight this public health crisis."

"Both public and private sector workers would be eligible including health care professionals, workers at grocery stores, postal workers, home care workers, pharmacists, first responders and other essential workers," according to his office.

The extra hourly pay of $13 would be backdated to January 27th. That's when the federal government declared a public health emergency.

"The proposal would be federally-funded, and would give funds directly to eligible employers that apply to the Heroes Fund to increase their employees’ paychecks. No employer would be required to participate, but would be strongly encouraged to apply," according to his office.