Harder Fights for Hazard Pay and Protections for Essential Workers

April 8, 2020
Press Release

Modesto, CA – After hearing concerns from local workers, Representative Josh Harder (CA-10) sent a letter to President Trump asking for hazard pay and protections for essential workers putting themselves on the line to keep our country safe. Harder called on the President to ensure workers receive fair compensation and have updated national emergency standards to protect their health and safety while they continue to work. Rep. Harder’s office has been contacted by dozens of nurses, law enforcement officers, truck drivers and other essential workers concerned about conducting their normal work during social isolation.

“I’ve heard from a ton of people who are still working through this pandemic – risking their health and safety every day to keep our country running,” said Rep. Harder. “It’s time to put our money where our mouth is because saying thank you is just not enough.”  

The text of the letter is below and an original version is available here.

 

President Trump,

I write to you today to request that all workers employed by essential businesses during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, also known as coronavirus, receive a premium pay for their work and that your Administration direct employers to implement the necessary health and safety requirements that will protect these workers in their workplace and help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Our essential workers: doctors, nurses, emergency medical technicians, law enforcement officers, cleaning staffs, grocery store workers, farm workers, and many others continue to show up to work, risking not only their personal health, but the health of their families as well. These workers help care for Americans every day. In light of these heightened risks, it is necessary to fairly compensate and protect them.

The next COVID-19-related legislation must include a requirement that all essential companies operating during the coronavirus pandemic provide a “hazard pay,” or a premium pay to its workers. This premium pay should be equivalent to time and half wages, be available to all workers, and be distributed through their regular paychecks. We must compensate the critical workers who put their lives on the line to take protect ours. This premium pay must also be paired with protective measures – outlined in an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) –  to keep our workers safe and putting in place disease exposure control plans to protect workers on the frontlines to the virus.

In my district, two brave essentials workers, a nurse and a truck driver, continue to go to work, providing essential care and goods for Americans, while putting their lives on the line each day. Our country cannot function without the service of the heroes of this pandemic and that is why we must ensure that our essential workers get the pay and protection they deserve for their service.

I look forward to your response on this critical matter.