Sánchez, Cartwright Introduce Legislation to Provide Hazard Pay to Essential Workers

May 5, 2020
Press Release

Washington, DC—Reps. Linda T. Sánchez (CA-38) and Matt Cartwright (PA-08) today introduced the Coronavirus Frontline Workers Fair Pay Act, legislation to establish a hazard pay program for high-risk health care professionals and other essential workers on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic.

Specifically, the bill would create a dedicated fund within the U.S. Treasury Department to provide hazard pay funds to employers. High-risk health care workers would receive a hazard pay increase of $18.50 per hour, and other essential workers would receive an increase of $13 per hour. Pay would be capped at $35,000 and $25,000, respectfully. It would be retroactive to January 27, 2020, and available through the end of the year. Self-employed individuals and independent contractors would also be eligible.

“Across the country, essential workers in hospitals, grocery stores, warehouses, and police departments continue to toe the line,” said Rep. Sánchez. “They do this despite the risk of getting themselves and their loved ones sick. As we call on these workers to put themselves in harm's way so that the rest of us can stay safely at home, it’s only right that we provide them with hazard pay. They show up for us and we need to do the same for them.”

“Grocery store, mail delivery, health care, and distribution center employees continue to report for duty, in order to provide our communities with life-sustaining services during this crisis,” said Rep. Cartwright. “There’s a lot that needs to be done for our caregivers and essential workers, but securing hazard pay for those in harm’s way is the least we can do.”

The bill text is available here.