On July 16, 2020, Governor Tom Wolf announced a new program to aid Pennsylvania employers in providing hazard pay to employees working in “life-sustaining” occupations during the current pandemic. The COVID-19 Hazard Pay Grant Program allows eligible Pennsylvania-based employers to apply for grants of up to $3 million to provide hazard pay benefits to eligible front-line employees.
The grant application period, which is open now, closes on July 31, 2020.
Created from funds made available through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, this reimbursement-based grant program is open to employers offering hazard pay during the eligible program period and will be administered by the PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).
The reimbursement-based grants for hazard pay are intended to help employers to retain current front-line employees working in sectors that are vital to every Pennsylvanian’s existence. Grants are available for applicant employers including businesses, healthcare non-profits, public transportation agencies, and certified economic development organizations (CEDOs) located and operating in Pennsylvania within one of the following eligible industries:
- Healthcare and social assistance
- Food manufacturing
- Food retail facilities
- Transit and ground passenger transportation
- Security services for eligible industries listed above and commercial industries that were not closed as a result of the Governor’s business closure order
- Janitorial services to buildings and dwellings
Grant funds may be used for hazard pay, which is defined as “additional pay for performing hazardous duty or work involving physical hardship, in each case that is related to COVID-19”, for direct, full-time and part-time employees earning less than $20/hour, excluding fringe benefits and overtime. Funds may only be used for hazard pay for eligible employees during the 10-week period from August 16, 2020 through October 24, 2020.
Applicants may apply for up to $1,200 per eligible full-time equivalent (FTE) employee, which must be paid to the eligible employees over the 10-week eligibility period as a $3/hour hazard pay increase to their regular pay rates. Employers may apply for a grant to provide hazard pay for up to 500 eligible FTEs per location ($600,000 maximum grant per location). No employer may receive more than $3,000,000 of the funding under the program.
Time is of the essence, in that applications can only be submitted until July 31, 2020. Individual employees are not eligible applicants – applicants MUST be employers. Applications for funding must be submitted through the Electronic Single Application (ESA). Detailed instructions for completing the application are available on the DCED website.
For comments or questions, please contact your Grossman Yanak & Ford LLP executive at 412-338-9300.