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Queens Lawmakers Call on Governor to Provide Hazard Pay to Essential Workers

(Stock: Unsplash)

April 20, 2020 By Allie Griffin

Two Queens lawmakers are demanding that essential workers receive hazard pay for their work during the coronavirus pandemic.

Assembly Member Aravella Simotas and State Sen. Jessica Ramos sent a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo and other state leaders on April 14 urging them to use a portion of the federal stimulus funds allocated to New York to compensate workers putting their lives in danger.

“The frontline essential workers risk their lives every day and all New Yorkers owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude,” Simotas and Ramos wrote in the letter. “The state should use a portion of the federal stimulus funds provided to New York as a result of the COVID-19 crisis to adequately compensate and support those who are putting their lives on the line.”

The temporary hazard pay would go to healthcare workers, as well as anyone deemed an essential employee during the pandemic–including grocery store employees, nursing home employees, transportation workers, cleaning and maintenance crews and others.

“In the face of an unprecedented global pandemic, our essential workers have truly stepped up,” Simotas and Ramos wrote in a joint statement. “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.”

The workers are risking their own health as well as their families, the lawmakers noted.

“Our state must do everything it can to ensure a just compensation for those who are putting their lives on the line every day,” they said. “That begins with hazard pay for essential workers.”

Cuomo is in favor of hazard pay, but is asking the federal government to provide it.

He called on the federal government at his daily briefing today to designate funds for specifically for hazard pay. Cuomo said that essential frontline workers should get a 50 percent bonus.

He said the workers, such as healthcare professionals, police officers, firefighters and grocery store workers, deserve more than just a thanks.

“They are the ones that are carrying us through this crisis,” Cuomo said.

These workers don’t have the luxury of working from home and are exposing themselves to potential infection, Cuomo said.

“Pay them what they deserve,” he said. “I would say, hazard pay — give them a 50 percent bonus and I would do that now.”

Letter Advocating for Hazar… by Queens Post on Scribd

email the author: [email protected]


Click for Comments 

Noah- The debt will be paid just like it was for the Revolution war, Civil War, Panama Canal, WWI and WWII and so on. So stop boring us with your simplicities of economics.


My mom is a cashier and grocery worker and I’m scared everyday. There is no quitting, there is no walking away. She has to continue everyday working more than ever. People whom have been laid off like my sister in law are getting paid better than ever due the unemployment stimulus add on. I fear she is going to get sick and possibly die everyday now because my mom works at the market. You can’t pay her enough for doing this while we stand strong to serve while most get to hide in safety. She is literally around 100s of people a day. What is the price you would put on that risk if you were in her shoes?


THIS IS NOT FREE MONEY! We will be stealing this money from our children’s future. Our actions today will make their lives harder. You must understand all this spending is debt and will have to be paid back for decades to come.

Giving everyone free money is NOT Socialism

It’s just social reform and wealth redistribution via welfare and taxation


Do Landscapers & Gardeners qualify for this? My brother in law has been working non stop. He drives all the way to Long Island daily to help people get their lawns and pools ready for the summer. Some of them work in hospitals and he risks his life being around them and their families.


Yes Hazard Pay for ALL essential workers. Not just a few categories. Teachers deserve it also.


I’m still working paying taxes and the people at home are spending it!!! I want hazard pay now!


I think all the essential workers including my wife fully understand how essential they are now that the unemployed will be making double what she makes. For those waiting on that hazard pay, good luck. I’m sure the check will be in the mail soon. Her resignation goes in today.


Hazard pay? Really? Didn’t doctors, nurses, etc. sign up for this crap?? Give hazard pay to grocery store workers, truck drivers etc!! The real heroes working their butts off!!!


The 911 operators have always been the forgotten heroes behind the headsets. They are definitely the first, First Responders. If the calls are not answered, the police, firefighter or EMTs will not know where or what type of help is needed. Imagine a day without those 911 calls being answered. 911 First Responders can’t telework. They have to report to a work site, risking contracting COVID-19, also. These Communication Centers operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, non-stop. I say kudos to all who are working to keep this country operating during this pandemic. They all are heroes, regardless of their profession.


What about the building maintenance workers and laundry staff? I make minimum wage as a building super, while my employer is in Florida. I am on call 24 hours seven days a week with all these tenants not willing or not knowing how to do a single thing. Half of them are not even paying rent. I do not care if your cookies are homemade! I do not want them. And no I do not want to pet your dog. My wife works at a laundry mat and deals with rude customers and dirty infected clothes. And no masks for us, we must settle for homemade cloth masks which are pointless. I’m about to go somewhere else to get more pay!


Guadalupe- You talk about everybody else having Trump living in their minds but you’re the one constantly bringing him up and bringing up issues unrelated to the article or comment stream at hand. Trump made the issue of resold PPE up to detract from his failures concerning the Trump Coronavirus pandemic crisis. The FBI actually checked the issue out and found these concerns to be unfounded. In the attached link is the reality and the FBI are actually on the job to.


There are very few protests and dance videos from the rest of us that are also working but not in a hospital setting during this pandemic. We should get more hazard pay because we do not make hospital salaries and benefits.


Long distance Truck Drivers are on the front line also… “If you’ve got it a truck brought it.” My husband is working very hard.

Miguel Ángel

Frontline workers = all people who had to work. Peeps at fast food places, peeps at stores, delivery drivers, coffee shops, etc.


This is very good, and should also include all “essential” workers, like the truck drivers, grocery and pharmacy staff. Fast food workers too.


How about the politicians donate a portion of their checks to the front-line workers as well. Show them how much you truly care about them.


Please also crack down on healthcare workers selling PPE to the public. Its happening and you just got to know the right people to ask. That is how my neighbor got his.


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