I’m An Essential Worker. Can I Get Hazard Pay During The COVID-19 Crisis?
Lawrence M. Glasner, JD, MBA Attorney at Law, The Glasner Law Firm
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Currently, hazard pay for essential workers (essential critical infrastructure workers) performing dangerous front-line work is not required by federal law.
But the Heroes Act, recently passed by the House of Representatives, could provide $200 billion in hazard pay if the Senate passes the bill. We will have to wait and see. There are some political obstacles, as is usually the case.
Some private employers offer extra pay for doing work with a high risk of COVID-19 exposure. Forms of this extra money include:
Ask your employer directly what they offer. PepsiCo, for example, is paying its production and distribution workers $100 extra per week and 14-days full salary for any employee quarantined.
Some firms offer expense reimbursements for working remotely at home during the lockdown, including subsidies for extra utilities, childcare, internet, etc. So, while it might not be called hazard pay, you may be entitled to reasonable employer subsidies if you work at home. Keep your receipts.
If I Am Self-employed or a Consultant and My Major Client Stops Using My Services Because of the Economic Fallout from COVID-19, Can I Get Unemployment Benefits?
Independent contractors, business owners, the self-employed, and people with a limited work history are generally never eligible for unemployment benefits.
Until now. The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance a new federal provision that provides unemployment benefits available to independent contractors and small business owners if you lost work directly because of COVID-19.
The amount you receive depends on your home state’s unemployment insurance program.
Visit your state’s website to find its unemployment insurance program to get started receiving benefits.
Here’s a link to get you to the right place to get started.
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