Rep. Kenyatta celebrates $50 million in hazard pay grant funding for Pa. frontline workers

HARRISBURGH, July 17 – State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta said his fight to guarantee Pennsylvanians working on the frontlines during the fatal COVID-19 pandemic are afforded increased wages has finally been accomplished with Gov. Tom Wolf recently announcing the availability of $50 million in grant funding to help employers provide hazard pay to employees in life-sustaining occupations.

Kenyatta, D-Phila., called the program a sincere expression of appreciation for the sacrifices of frontline employees, and an overall win for workers’ rights.

“I am proud of Governor Wolf’s support in our demands to prioritize Pennsylvania frontline workers in any mitigation efforts during this crisis,” Kenyatta said. “It is their labor that has sustained countless communities across our commonwealth throughout the pandemic. Providing this funding for hazard pay transcends the hollow ‘thank you,’ and explicitly demonstrates our appreciation for their service by guaranteeing that they are properly compensated.”

From the start of this crisis, Kenyatta boasts a solid track record of championing protections for the rights and safety of Pennsylvania’s essential workers.

In May, the lawmaker stood in solidarity with Temple health care workers on the picket line in his district. Last month, in a video that has since gone viral, Kenyatta challenged booing Republicans in the House chamber about the fate of restaurant workers’ safety in the wake of attempts to prematurely reopen restaurants.

Also in June, in what would have been the catalyst in ushering in first-of-its-kind protections for LGBTQ+ Pennsylvanians against employment discrimination weeks prior to the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision, Kenyatta fought to ensure employers seeking to reopen during the pandemic would be prohibited from refusing employment to Pennsylvanians based on sexual orientation and gender expression, race and disability.