(New York, NY) – Assembly Member Aravella Simotas and Senator Jessica Ramos called on the state to provide a bonus in hazard pay for essential workers who are forced to work through the coronavirus pandemic.
In a letter sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and Speaker Carl Heastie, on April 14, 2020, the two lawmakers urged the state to use a portion of the federal stimulus funds provided to New York to compensate and support those who are putting their lives on the line so that social distancing can be realized.
Simotas and Ramos issued the following joint statement, “In the face of an unprecedented global pandemic, our essential workers have truly stepped up. Many of these employees are working despite a shortage of proper personal protective equipment, commuting on crowded public transit, or putting in more hours than typically expected. Our state must do everything it can to ensure a just compensation for those who are putting their lives on the line every day. That begins with hazard pay for essential workers.”
The hazard pay bonus would apply not only to healthcare workers but also to anyone who has been deemed essential, including but not limited to grocery store employees, nursing home employees, transportation workers, cleaning and maintenance crews. The legislators emphasize that essential workers are witnessing illness and death on a daily basis and commuting long distances risking exposure of themselves and their household members.