The U.S. House passed the Heroes Act back in May. It included $200 billion for hazard pay. More specifically:
- An extra $13 per hour for essential workers (up to a certain amount – depending on how much you make)
- $15,000 signing bonuses for first responders and certain healthcare workers
- A lump sum to the next of kin when essential workers die because of the pandemic
The Heroes Act listed essential workers -- a long list, too long to include here -- but it includes healthcare workers, first responders, postal workers and grocery store employees.
But then it stalled in the U.S. Senate.
The HEALS Act -- which also stalled -- doesn’t even mention hazard pay.
And President Trump’s recent executive order and three memoranda don’t address the issue either.
It's frustrating for workers on the front lines who have been demanding hazard pay for months and heard the talk, but then nothing happens.
Darryl Buchanan works in a grocery store.
He told Action 9's Jason Stoogenke he interacts with customers "all the time" and worries about his health.
He said his employer paid hazard pay for a while, but then stopped.
He’s been hoping lawmakers pick up where his workplace left off. “That’s another one of those hurry up and wait, just hurry up and wait. I have to work. I’m trying to live a life, pay my bills, and do the right thing, but it’s just one of those things,” he said. “I’d love them to bring back hazard pay for us. We are on the front line. I am on the front line. I’ve told my family and friends, if something god forbid happens to me, let them know that I love them and all that.”
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