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Fri Jun 18, 2021, 02:24 AM

Oregon's essential workers could get one-time hazard pay up to $2,000 under new legislation

Essential workers in Oregon may receive up to $2,000 in a one-time payment from the state for working through the pandemic if new legislation is approved this session.

House Bill 3409, introduced Monday, would direct the Department of Consumer and Business Services to create a program for an up-to-$2,000 in retention incentive for essential workers who stayed on through the pandemic last year. The program also would give a $1,200 return-to-work incentive for essential workers hired after the bill's passage.

It would essentially be one-time hazard pay with American Rescue Plan funds for those who faced the most risk of contracting COVID-19 through their public-facing jobs during the ongoing pandemic, something local workers' unions have been lobbying for.

"Essential workers are the backbone of our economy and have carried us through COVID-19 and wildfires, risking their lives and well-being to ensure we have food on the table, adequate care and support," said Rep. Rachel Prusak, D-Tualatin, one of the chief sponsors of the bill. "With this bill, we're hoping to give our essential workers one-time payments that will help to provide adequate compensation, as well as honor the work that they've done.

Read more: https://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/2021/06/17/oregons-essential-workers-2000-stimulus-new-legislation-hazard-pay/7736678002/
(Salem Statesman Journal)

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