Pittsburgh, Pa. − July 16, 2020 − Senator Lindsey M. Williams joined Senator Maria Collett and Governor Tom Wolf today in announcing the introduction of the COVID-19 Hazard Pay Grant Program. This Program will distribute $50 million of CARES Act funding to help employers provide hazard pay to front-line workers in industries with high exposure risk as determined by OSHA.

“Front-line essential workers are the backbone of our economy. They have been working in dangerous conditions, putting themselves and their families at increased risk from COVID-19 on a daily basis,” said Senator Williams. “Many of these workers didn’t sign up for life-threatening work. The Hazard Pay Grant Program acknowledges the risks these workers have been taking and will be taking in the months to come. I know this program is far from enough, but it will assist some employers in ensuring that their workers’ wages more closely reflect the newfound risks that they face.”

The Hazard Pay Grant Program will provide $3.00/hour hazard pay to full- and part-time employees earning less than $20.00/hour as a direct increase in their pay for 10 weeks, for a total of up to $1200. No one company can be awarded more than $3 million in total funding; only 500 employees can receive hazard pay through this program at any one company location.

The application period for the Hazard Pay Grant Program will open today, July 16, 2020, and close on July 31, 2020. Applications must be submitted through the DCED Electronic Single Application for Assistance at www.esa.dced.state.pa.us. This program is NOT first come, first served. Applications will be evaluated based on the risk of exposure by industry, prevalence of COVID-19 in the area, and average hourly wage paid by the employer. Distribution of funding is anticipated to run from August 16, 2020 – October 24, 2020.

Eligible applicants include businesses, healthcare non-profits, public transportation industries, and Certified Economic Development Organizations (CEDO). Eligible industries include healthcare and social assistance, transit and ground passenger transportation, food manufacturing, food retail facilities, security services for these industries, and janitorial services to buildings and dwellings.