Senate Democrats Propose $25,000 Hazard-Pay Plan For Key Workers On The Frontlines Of The Coronavirus Crisis

Senate Democrats are proposing the government give up to $25,000 to workers on the frontlines of the coronavirus crisis, including food shop employees, truck drivers, transit workers and other key workers such as janitors.

This bonus money, which is calculated as a $13 hourly raise, would be given to workers who “are in the line of fire, day in and day out,” Senate Minority Chuck Schumer said recently during a press conference. It would cover the start of the outbreak until the end of 2020.

“It’s the right thing to do. It’s the moral thing to do,” Schumer said. “When America has a crisis, we all pull together, and no one has pulled together more than these essential workers who deserve hazard pay. We are asking these workers to take on great risk. They should be compensated for it.”

The plan they call Pandemic Premium Pay would give up to $25,000 to those earning less than $200,000 yearly and up to $5000 for people earning more than $200,000.

In addition, it would offer a vital worker recruitment incentive of up to $15,000 for medical employees.

Schumer has not yet provided a full cost estimate for the plan.

A good number of hospital employees and medical providers have voiced their fears about their strong risk of exposure to the coronavirus, especially since there is inadequate access to protective gear such as gowns, gloves, and masks that could help shield them from harm.

The President’s administration may be open to another stimulus package, which could feature hazard pay for workers on the frontlines who earn too much to qualify for the one-time financial aid of $1200 set aside in the CARES Act, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin noted earlier this week.

President Donald Trump has also noted that he is considering additional pay for health-care personnel, like doctors, nurses and others struggling in the battle against COVID-19.

“It’s something we’re discussing in terms of bonus or bonus pay,” Trump revealed a week ago during a White House briefing. “They’re like warriors, they’re like soldiers.”

The current $2 trillion COVID-19 relief bill is handing people $1200 if they earn less than $75,000, and $2400 to couples earning less than $150,000. Kids receive $500. The money is tapered for higher-income households and is phased out entirely for individuals who make more than $99,000, or couples who make over $198,000.

What are your thoughts on these proposed financial packages for people most exposed to risk? Let us know by joining the conversation in the comments and please share this article to spread the news. 

Sources: The Hill, Fox Business

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