Hazard Pay


  • Specializes in Neurosurgical ICU, Emergency, Psych, Art Therapy. Has 8 years experience.

Heroes Act is being stalled by the Senate (no surprise.) There are many aspects I feel are completely irrelevant to heroes and I honestly hate that they call it the “heroes act” when really a majority of the bill has nothing to do with the idea of anyone acting heroically - they’re just using the word heroes as a smoke screen. One of the few hero-related aspects discussed is hazard pay. Apparently if the bill is passed, employers would have to apply for the funding then eventually distribute money retroactively to employees. The process just seems impossible and extremely unlikely. I don’t know of any nurses receiving hazard pay, yet retail employees are striking for hazard pay. If anything we’ve had our hours cut, PTO drained, retirement matching removed completely, and any planned merit raises slashed. We’re being treated like *** and the idea of our government treating nurses and other healthcare workers as heroes is honestly a joke at this point.
Any thoughts?


1 Article; 2,162 Posts

Specializes in Travel, Home Health, Med-Surg. Has 20 years experience.

I think it has stalled bc of all the non covid, and some continuation of covid, related expenditures that were put in it (just like the first one!). The gov (ie taxpayers) money should not be being spent for some of these things as this will eventually need to be paid back from taxes. That said, if they would have stuck to just helping the "heros" it would have already been a done deal. And, IMO, money given to anybody should be done on a as needed basis.

Specializes in Med/Surg, LTACH, LTC, Home Health. Has 37 years experience.

Our sister facility in the northern part of the state is receiving hazard pay. Here, we have been exposed to COVID patients REPEATEDLY and have yet to receive one dime. We’re not even allowed to self-quarantine at home for the recommended 14-day period. The screening at the front door is a joke. We answer ‘yes’ to recent exposure; they tell us to sanitize, wear a mask, and have a good shift at work. We are treated like work horses, pack mules, and straight-up jackasses.

They do check in infrequently (supposedly daily)... my guess is to see if the nurse’s license still has a reliable mode of transportation to make it in to work. It’s a plus if the possessor of said license accompanies it.

Forgive my sarcasm...I’ve been a tad bit upset and worn for a few weeks now.

adventure_rn, BSN

1 Article; 1,544 Posts

Specializes in NICU, PICU.

Two thoughts--

First, I worry that they will vastly underestimate the total number of 'essential' employees who could claim hazard pay. It seems like it could end up exactly like the CARES act; it was designed to support small businesses, but instead all of the large businesses swooped in and took all of the money. I fear that the Hazard Pay bill would create the same issues with distribution, where early applicants would receive a ton of money while others will get nothing. Whatever value Congress chooses, I doubt it will be enough to cover hazard pay for everyone who was 'essential,' and it would stink to be left out while others get the bonus.

Second, and perhaps more controversially, I think that the people working with COVID patients arguably have the least financial need compared to the general population, or other healthcare workers who have been furloughed or laid off. It seems kind of crazy to me that the one handful of people who have had consistent work and paychecks through the crisis would be given even more money, while nurses (and other workers) who have been involuntarily furloughed struggle to make ends meet.

IMO, instead of back-paying us hazard pay, they should have found a better way to provide adequate PPE in the first place. This would never have been as much of a 'hazard' if we had the right PPE.

Instead of hazard pay, I think it would make more sense for the government to pay the medical bills of any essential workers or their family members who had to be hospitalized for COVID. Perhaps they should also create a fund for the families of essential workers who have died.