Senate Democrats this week proposed legislation that would offer premium pay to federal workers who are “essential frontline employees” during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The proposal is part of a larger package offered to frontline workers in both the private and public sectors.
According to the senators, the proposed COVID-19 “Heroes Fund” consists of two major components:
1. A $25,000 premium pay increase for essential workers, equivalent to a raise of $13 per hour from the start of the public health emergency until December 31, 2020
2. A $15,000 essential worker recruitment incentive to attract and secure the workforce needed to fight the public health crisis.
“We are in a war against COVID-19, and we owe our gratitude to all of the workers who are putting their own health and safety at risk by fighting on the front lines of this pandemic,” said Senator Bob Casey. “And just like wartime, we must recognize and reward those who are on the front lines — health care professionals, first responders, personal care and home health workers, truck drivers, grocery store workers and other unsung heroes—for their selfless efforts to do the critical work of protecting our citizens and keeping our country running so millions of Americans can stay safe at home. The Heroes Fund would provide essential workers with increased compensation and incentivize others to join the fight against COVID-19.”
Federal Workforce Provisions
Below is a summary of the proposal as it pertains to the federal workforce:
Our proposal would ensure all federal government essential frontline employees receive the same $25,000 premium pay benefit provided to other essential workers. Coverage should be expansive to capture all federal employees with public-facing positions.This includes Title 5 employees and employees of all other federal personnel systems (e.g., employees of the Postal Service,TSA, VA, FAA, District of Columbia, and federally-funded Indian programs). The benefit would be limited to frontline and public-facing positions – employees who are not teleworking from their homes.
To read the full summary, go here.