Harkins clarifies which workers are eligible for new hazard pay program

ERIE, July 21 – State Rep. Pat Harkins, D-Erie, is hoping to resolve questions regarding which workers are eligible for hazard pay under a newly announced program providing $50 million in CARES Act funding to compensate frontline workers for job-related risks.

“Since the new hazard pay program was announced, many people in the district have been asking me which workers qualify,” Harkins said. “I want to clarify that the program is designed to compensate direct, full-time and part-time employees in life-sustaining industries who earn less than $20/hour, excluding fringe benefits and overtime.”

Harkins said employers must apply for the grants, which are available for the following


  • healthcare and social assistance
  • ambulatory health care services
  • hospitals
  • nursing and residential care facilities
  • transit and ground passenger transportation
  • food manufacturing
  • food retail facilities
  • security services for eligible industries listed above and commercial industries that were not closed under the governor’s business closure order
  • janitorial services to buildings and dwellings

“I’m urging businesses, agencies, non-profits and Certified Economic Development Organizations with employees in any of these industries to apply,” Harkins said. “Our frontline workers risk their health and the health of their families every day to keep life-sustaining services flowing to our community. They deserve any extra compensation we can provide.”

Funds are for the 10-week period from Aug. 16 to Oct. 24 and will be paid to eligible employees as a $3/hour hazard pay increase to their regular pay rate.

Applicants may apply for up to $1,200 per eligible full-time equivalent employee for up to 500 eligible full-time equivalent employees per location ($600,000 maximum grant per location). The maximum to any one employer is $3 million.

The deadline to apply is July 31.

Employers should visit this page to learn more and to apply.