Wolf announces hazard pay grants for frontline workers

Gov. Tom Wolf.
Photo credit The Office of Governor Tom Wolf via Flickr
By KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio)  Pennsylvania is dedicating $50 million of federal funding to provide hazard pay to essential workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Tom Wolf made the announcement Thursday outside a Giant food store in Harrisburg.

"These Pennsylvanians deserve to be paid for the risks that they are taking for all of us," the governor said. "They work in hospitals, in addition to places like Giant. They work in assisted living facilities. They work in urgent care facilities and centers. They work in grocery stores and convenient stores. They work in farms, food processing plants. They drive buses, they drive trucks, they drive ambulances, and they interact with the public. That is unavoidable in all of these jobs."

Wolf said the money, from the CARES Act, will provide up to a $3 an hour pay increase for eligible full- and part-time employees who make $20 an hour or less over a 10-week period between Aug. 16 and Oct. 24.

"This hazard pay is going to help these hardworking employees offset costs related to working through the COVID-19 pandemic expenses," Wolf explained, "such as buying masks, taking alternative forms of transportation and finding child care."

But more importantly, the governor said, it serves as a thank you to frontline employees.

Employers can apply for up to $3 million in grants at the Department of Community and Economic Development website.