April 15, 2020

Rep. Lawson Asks Dept. of Treasury and SBA for Overtime and Hazard Pay Protections for Essential Employees

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Al Lawson (FL-05) sent a letter to the Department of the Treasury and the Small Business Administration requested overtime and hazard pay for local essential service employees.

The letter urged Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza to allow local governments to use resources from the state stabilization fund to cover the pay. Along with Lawson, other representatives on the letter were Florida Reps. Darren Soto, Alcee Hastings, Kathy Castor and Frederica Wilson.

“Countless public-sector employees are putting themselves at risk to perform essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Members wrote. “These people are required to continue their service on behalf of the public and are directly exposed to the danger of the crisis.”

Essential service employees include first responders, 9-11 operators, postal workers, teachers and school administrators, transportation and utilities services, and countless others. Postal workers and transportation service employees have some of the highest numbers of those who have tested positive for coronavirus. Positive cases among service employees result in self-quarantine, loss of jobs, staff shortages and a increasing demand for employees to work longer hours.

“We must protect the brave individuals who are putting the needs of our community above their own health,” Rep. Lawson said. “This includes paying essential employees what they deserve, and ensuring their safety and ability to work.”