The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development is operating a new program designed to assist front-line employees working in vital sectors, and to help employers retain those employees through a reimbursable grant program. The COVID-19 PA Hazard Pay Grant Program is designed to allow employers to offer hazard pay to employees in life-sustaining occupations for a limited period of time during the current pandemic.
Specifically, the program provides reimbursable grants to be used for increased pay to direct, full-time and part-time employees earning less than $20/hour (excluding fringe benefits and overtime). Hazard pay under the program means additional pay for performing hazardous duty or work involving physical hardship related to COVID-19. It is to be paid out as a $3/hour increase to an employee’s regular rate of pay. This increase is to be offered for the ten (10) week period from August 16, 2020 through October 24, 2020. Eligible employers must be located in Pennsylvania and be within one of the following industries:
- Healthcare and Social Assistance
- Food Manufacturing
- Food Retail Facilities
- Transit and Ground Passenger Transportation
- Security Services for eligible industries listed above and commercial industries that were not closed as a result of the Governor’s Business Closure Order
- Janitorial Services to Buildings and Dwellings
Employers must apply to be awarded grants under the program. Applicants may apply for up to $1,200 per eligible full-time equivalent employee. Grants are limited to payments for up to 500 eligible full-time equivalent employees per location ($600,000 maximum grant per location). Furthermore, no more than a total of $3,000,000 may be awarded to a single employer.
Applications for the program are now open and are due July 31, 2020. To apply for funding, applications must be submitted on-line through the DCED website. Please see https://dced.pa.gov/programs/covid-19-pa-hazard-pay-grant/ for more information.
If you have any questions about this program or other programs to assist employees and employers during the pandemic, please contact one of the attorneys in our Employment Law Group at 1-888-488-2638.