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Letter to the Hon. Donald J. Trump, President of the United States - Harder Fights for Hazard Pay and Protections for Essential Workers


Date: April 8, 2020
Location: Modesto, CA

President Trump,

I write to you today to request that all workers employed by essential businesses during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, also known as coronavirus, receive a premium pay for their work and that your Administration direct employers to implement the necessary health and safety requirements that will protect these workers in their workplace and help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Our essential workers: doctors, nurses, emergency medical technicians, law enforcement officers, cleaning staffs, grocery store workers, farm workers, and many others continue to show up to work, risking not only their personal health, but the health of their families as well. These workers help care for Americans every day. In light of these heightened risks, it is necessary to fairly compensate and protect them.

The next COVID-19-related legislation must include a requirement that all essential companies operating during the coronavirus pandemic provide a "hazard pay," or a premium pay to its workers. This premium pay should be equivalent to time and half wages, be available to all workers, and be distributed through their regular paychecks. We must compensate the critical workers who put their lives on the line to take protect ours. This premium pay must also be paired with protective measures -- outlined in an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) -- to keep our workers safe and putting in place disease exposure control plans to protect workers on the frontlines to the virus.

In my district, two brave essentials workers, a nurse and a truck driver, continue to go to work, providing essential care and goods for Americans, while putting their lives on the line each day. Our country cannot function without the service of the heroes of this pandemic and that is why we must ensure that our essential workers get the pay and protection they deserve for their service.

I look forward to your response on this critical matter.