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New Proposed ‘Heroes Fund’ Stimulus Could Give Essential Workers Including Transit a Boost

Senate Democrats announced they will push to include a new hazard pay program for frontline workers in the Coronavirus pandemic in the next round of COVID-19 relief funding. Workers from several frontline industries including health care workers, postal workers, transit workers, and airport workers would be eligible.

The two main components of the proposal include a $25,000 pay increase for essential workers, and a one-time $15,000 incentive to help recruit new healthcare workers during the virus outbreak.

The pay increase is calculated to be a $13 per hour pay raise that would be retroactive to the start of the crisis and authorized through Dec. 31, 2020. It would apply to workers earning less than $200,000 annually. It would not apply to employees who are working from home. The one-time $15,000 recruitment incentive would be more limited and focused on healthcare workers that are experiencing shortages such as home care workers and first responders.

The current proposal does not include details on the cost, or the specific mechanism for how to deliver this pay to workers.

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