PA Essential Workers Get $3/hr Pay Raise : Sort Of

Alex Lloyd Gross Photo Delaware Valley File photo Governor Tom Wolf

by Alex Lloyd Gross

Workers who are essential, have put themselves in harm way during the COVID-19 pandemic and most of the time, their employers have reaped the benefits with nothing more than a “Thank You” . As is the case with business, a store making billions is not going to pay front line workers any more than they have to. Now, a grant has been put into play by Governor Wolf.

The following applicants are eligible to apply:

  • Businesses
  • Healthcare Non-profits
  • Public Transportation Agencies
  • Certified Economic Development Organizations (CEDO)

Eligible Pennsylvania-based industries include:

  • Healthcare and Social Assistance
  • Ambulatory Health Care Services
  • Hospitals
  • Nursing and Residential Care Facilities
  • Transit and Ground Passenger Transportation
  • Food Manufacturing
  • Food Retail Facilities
  • Security Services for eligible industries listed above and commercial industries that were not closed as a result of the Governor’s Business Closure Order
  • Janitorial Services to Buildings and Dwellings

Grant funds may be used for hazard pay for direct, full-time and part-time employees earning less than $20/hour, excluding fringe benefits and overtime for the 10-week period from August 16, 2020, to October 24, 2020. Applicants may apply for up to $1,200 per eligible full-time equivalent (FTE) employee. Employers may apply for a grant to provide hazard pay for up to 500 eligible full-time equivalent employees per location.


This excludes part time workers, who are exposed to the same dangers. A worker who retrieves shopping carts  from a parking lot to disinfect them but only works there part time is not eligible. This , may workers say is where the disconnect is from lawmakers and what actually happens in reality.  Workers will be put on the schedule for 20 hours and that  is part time status.  Another worker will be put on the schedule for 20 hours part time and that way the company saves money on benefits . Places with over 500 employees that could be eligible will see others left out.

Applicants may apply for grants using the online DCED Electronic Single Application for Assistance located at from July 16, 2020, to July 31, 2020. Program inquiries may be directed to (717) 787-6245 or ra********