NEW JERSEY – U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) has joined a bipartisan group of 76 Members of the House to request that the next coronavirus relief package prioritize protecting frontline health care workers by including hazard pay, workplace protections, survivor benefits, and measures to prevent cuts to workers’ pay and benefits.
“These professionals are working around the clock to save lives and stop the spread of the virus. As these heroes risk their lives to combat the epidemic, they should know that their government has their back,” the Members wrote in a letter to Congressional leadership. “As Congress looks toward the next stimulus package, we ask that you include provisions that protect the jobs of these frontline workers and ensure they are duly compensated and supported for the risk they are undertaking.”
The Members also wrote, “We took care of our public safety and law enforcement officers for the sacrifices they made during 9/11. If we are going to fight the coronavirus like a war, we should protect those fighting for us on the frontlines. Health care workers are protecting us, our families, and our communities. They deserve to be protected in return.”
The Members wrote to Congressional leadership urging that the next package should:
- Provide survivor benefits for families who lose loved ones who are working to combat the disease, and financial support for health care workers who become infected, for their treatment, their household, and potential long-term effects of severe illness from COVID-19 infection;
- Prevent cuts to the pay and benefits of health care workers as medical companies grapple with the financial burden of the pandemic;
- Protect health care workers against retaliation for using their own personal protective equipment (PPE) or acting as whistleblowers on unsafe practices in their facilities; and
- Provide hazard pay to health care workers on the frontlines, as well as financial assistance to cover the needs of the job, such as temporary housing for quarantine purposes.