Conklin: More support needed for frontline workers responding to pandemic

STATE COLLEGE, Aug. 26 – State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, has joined several of his colleagues in urging the Wolf administration to take action to help frontline workers across Pennsylvania, especially those who have not received hazard pay.

Conklin said last week’s announcement of $516,000 in federal CARES grants to employers so they could offer their employees hazard pay was helpful, but it left out emergency medical services staff, grocery store employees, pharmacy technicians and many other frontline employees.

“I understand that these grants are, by nature, limited and do contain restrictions, but excluding many frontline workers from receiving hazard pay just isn’t right and it certainly isn’t fair,” said Conklin. “That’s why I joined forces with my fellow House colleagues to urge the administration to take further actions to help these workers, including the creation of another hazard pay program.

“These men and women have worked under extremely stressful and trying conditions to take care of others since the start of this pandemic and moving forward they should be included in any future assistance and support programs.”

This week, Conklin joined several of his colleagues in submitting a letter to the secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, which outlines their concerns and urges the creation of an additional hazard pay program to help workers in industries not eligible for the first grant program.