HARRISBURG, Pa.—Pennsylvania’s convenience stores and other essential businesses can apply for a state grant to cover an extra $3 an hour hazard pay for full-time and part-time employees who earn less than $20 an hour, excluding benefits and overtime, under a new program from the Department of Community and Economic Development to support employees on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Morning Call reports.
The following industries are eligible:
- Health care and social assistance
- Food manufacturing
- Food retail facilities (grocery, specialty food and convenience stores)
- Transit and ground passenger transportation
- Security services for eligible industries listed above and commercial industries that were not closed as a result of Gov. Wolf’s business closure order
- Janitorial services to buildings and dwellings
Employers may only use the grant funds for hazard pay for eligible employees for the 10-week period from August 16, 2020, through October 24, 2020, the agency said. Hazard pay is additional pay for performing hazardous duty or work involving physical hardship, in each case that is related to COVID-19.
Applicants may apply for up to $1,200 per eligible full-time equivalent (FTE) employee. The hazard pay must be paid to the eligible employee over the 10-week period of August 16 through October 24, 2020, as a $3/hour hazard pay increase to their regular pay rate. Employers may apply for a grant to provide hazard pay for up to 500 eligible full-time equivalent employees per location (with a $600,000 maximum grant per location). No employer may receive more than $3,000,000 of the funding under the COVID-19 Hazard Pay Grant Program, the agency said.
Applications must be submitted between July 16 and July 31 through the Electronic Single Application (ESA). More information is available on the Department of Community and Economic Development website.