On July 16, 2020, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced the availability of $50 million in grant funding to assist employers in providing hazard pay to employees performing life-sustaining jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The intent of the COVID-19 Hazard Pay Grant Program (Program) is to ensure that front-line employees in vital industries are able to continue working. Specifically, the purpose of the funding is to help employers provide hazard pay to their employees in order to retain current employees.
Eligible employers include businesses, healthcare non-profits, public transportation agencies, and certified economic development organizations located and operating in Pennsylvania within the following industries:
- Health care and social assistance
- Food manufacturing
- Food retail facilities
- Janitorial services to buildings and dwellings
- Transit and ground passenger transportation
- Security services for these eligible industries and commercial industries that were not closed as a result of the Governor’s Business Closure Order
In accordance with the Worker Exposure Risk to COVID-19 issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, applications will be prioritized by industry in the general order listed above.
Grant funds may be used for direct, full-time and part-time employees earning less than $20/hour, excluding fringe benefits and overtime, for the 10-week period from August 16, 2020 through October 24, 2020 as a $3/hour hazard pay increase to employees’ regular pay rate. Employers may apply for hazard pay in an amount of up to $1,200 per eligible full-time equivalent (FTE) employee, for up to 500 eligible FTE employees per location ($600,000 maximum per location). Grant funding is capped at $3,000,000 total per employer.
To determine the maximum grant request, the employer should calculate their number of FTE employees over the 10-week period by dividing the total number of hours for which employees are projected to be compensated during the 10 weeks by 400. The number of FTE employees should then be multiplied by $1,200 to determine the maximum grant request. The online application includes a downloadable form to assist employers in calculating the maximum grant request.
FLB’s attorneys have been assisting clients assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their employees and operations. We are here to provide guidance to businesses and business owners facing the unique issues brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.