Local governments providing hazard pay, stipends for first responders

Several local governments have implemented hazard pay and stipends for first responders and other front-line workers during the COVID-19 pandemic


By Laura French

This article was originally posted Apr. 8, 2020. It has been updated with new information.

In March, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said hazard pay for first responders could be considered for future legislation to address the COVID-19 national emergency. 

Mayor Randall Woodfin and the Birmingham City Council approved $500,000 to provide hazard pay for nearly 2,000 city employees on Tuesday, April 7. (Photo/Mayor Randall Woodfin Facebook)
Mayor Randall Woodfin and the Birmingham City Council approved $500,000 to provide hazard pay for nearly 2,000 city employees on Tuesday, April 7. (Photo/Mayor Randall Woodfin Facebook)

As federal officials continue working to implement the third COVID-19 stimulus package, several local governments have already passed their own legislation to provide hazard pay and stipends for first responders and other front-line workers. 

Below is a list of municipalities, counties and other local governments that have implemented hazard pay, stipends or other benefits for front-line workers during the COVID-19 crisis. This list will be continually updated as new information becomes available. 

Alabama

Attalla — Attalla firefighters, police officers and dispatchers will receive an additional $2 per hour in hazard pay for a four-week period, and public works employees will receive an additional $1 per hour for the same time period. 

Birmingham — The Birmingham City Council approved a 5% hazard pay raise for about 2,000 city employees, including those in the fire and rescue and police and corrections departments. 

Baldwin County — The Baldwin County Commission approved a request from the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office to provide hazard pay for deputies, corrections officers and communications officers. Across the department, 279 employees will receive an additional $240,000 total per pay period; the precise amount to be received by each employee was not reported. Update 4/23: On April 21, the Baldwin County Commission voted to end hazard pay for Sheriff's Office employees after two weeks due to economic concerns amidst the COVID-19 shutdown.  

Boaz — The Boaz City Council approved hazard pay of $200 per month for police and fire department employees. 

Columbiana — The Columbiana City Council approved a pay increase of 5% for the next two pay cycles for city employees including those in the police, fire, street/sanitation, sewer, court and senior center departments. 

Daphne — The Daphne City Council approved $3 per hour in hazard pay for first responders for a four-week period, as well as a $250 one-time payment for all public safety personnel. 

Rainbow City — The Rainbow City Council approved hazard pay of $2 per hour for police officers, investigators and firefighters for a three-week period. 

Riverside — Riverside Mayor Rusty Jessup signed an executive order implementing an additional $1 per hour in hazardous duty pay for first responders, to continue throughout the duration of stay-at-home orders. 

Selma — The Selma City Council approved an additional $1.75 per hour in hazard pay for police department and fire department employees for one month, which can be extended by the council at a later date.

Southside — Southside's City Council approved a one-time payment of $500 for police officers, firefighters, dispatchers and animal control officers during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Summerdale — The Summerdale council approved $1.50 per hour in hazard pay for city police officers, excluding overtime hours. 

Vestavia Hills — Vestavia Hills city employees who are considered essential, including first responders, building and engineering inspectors and administrative employees who work with the public, will receive a 5% pay increase for 30 days due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Connecticut

South Windsor — The South Windsor Town Council approved weekly hazard pay stipends of $200 for employees in several departments including the fire marshal's office, voters' registrar, parks and recreation, health, finance, town planning, town administration and public transit. The council later approved a measure increasing firefighters' pay per call from $9 to $13 and police officers' pay by $350 per week. 

Georgia

Atlanta — Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued an executive order providing $500 a month in hazard pay for public safety, sanitation and other front-line workers during the pandemic. 

Augusta — The city of Augusta implemented an additional $5 per hour in hazard pay for about 1,400 essential critical infrastructure employees, including firefighters, law enforcement, EMS, dispatchers and sanitation workers. Update 4/21: On April 21, the city commission voted to terminate the hazard pay policy on May 1 in response to the planned re-opening of Georgia's economy.  

Barrow County — The Barrow County Board of Commissioners approved hazard pay for 182 emergency services employees and sheriff's deputies. The eligible employees will receive an additional $250 per month for the duration of the statewide emergency. 

Carrollton — The city of Carrollton approved up to 10 weeks of hazard pay for critical employees who are not working from home, including firefighters, police officers, public works employees, sanitation workers, City Hall cashiers, treatment plant workers and sewer infrastructure employees. Full-time employees will receive $200 every two weeks while those working on reduced hours will receive a proportional amount. 

Cherokee County — The Cherokee County Board of Commissioners has authorized three months of hazard pay for front-line workers. Employees with an "elevated risk" of exposure to COVID-19 will receive an additional $250 per month and those with a "significantly elevated risk" will receive an additional $500 monthly. 

Douglas County — The Douglas County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution to provide a $200 bonus per pay period for front-line workers including sheriff's deputies, 911 dispatchers, coroner's office employees, firefighters, animal shelter workers and landfill workers. The resolution covers 557 county employees, who will receive the hazard pay bonuses for pay periods between March 16 and May 15.

Forsyth County — Forsyth County commissioners unanimously approved hazard pay of an additional $500 per month for employees who are put in contact with the public and $250 per month for employees who cannot practice social distancing or must enter occupied residences as part of their job. The plan covers 620 employees including sheriff's deputies and fire department personnel. 

Fulton County — The Fulton County Board of Commissioners approved $750 dollars in hazard pay for 1,600 front-line workers. The policy was later extended to include 220 additional employees, including 100 sheriff's office employees. 

Grady County — The Grady County Board of Commissioners approved hazard pay bonuses of $600 for full-time EMS employees and $300 for part-time EMS employees. 

Henry County — The Henry County Board of Commissioners approved an additional $2.50 per hour in hazard pay for employees who have the potential of direct contact with the public on a daily basis and an additional $1.50 per hour for employees working in county offices rather than teleworking. 

Savannah — Savannah Mayor Van Johnson announced that most city employees will receive hazard pay in the form of an extra $2.50 per hour, or about $100 per week. 

Smyrna — The Smyrna City Council voted to implement hazard pay for city employees who "have the potential to come into contact with the public," including first responders, community development employees and public works employees. The eligible employees will receive an additional $2 per hour. 

Walton County — Walton County commissioners voted unanimously for a $100-per-week stipend for firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, deputies, jail employees, public works employees and animal control officers. 

Woodstock — The Woodstock City Council unanimously approved two months of retroactive hazard pay for firefighters and police officers going back to March 16 and ending on May 15. Firefighters and police officers assigned to primary assigned duties will receive $500 for each month, or $1,000 total, and officers assigned to secondary assigned duties will receive $250 per month. Officials may vote to extend the plan in the future.

Guam

The U.S. territory of Guam implemented hazard pay for essential government employees, including first responders. The bill passed by the Guam Legislature creates three categories of differential pay; details about the categories and amounts of additional pay were not reported. 

Indiana

Elwood — The Elwood City Council approved $1,000 in hazard pay for police and fire department employees. 

Kansas

Lansing — The Kansas Department of Corrections will provide up to $400 in hazard pay per pay period for staff at Lansing Correctional Facility. 

Sedgwick County — Sedgwick County commissioners have approved hazard pay of $200 per month for county employees, including first responders. The provision will last for at least two pay periods and can be extended by a later vote.  

Maine 

Statewide — Maine Gov. Janet Mills' administration agreed to implement between $3 to $5 per hour in hazard pay for 800 employees represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 93, which includes corrections officers and mental health workers. 

Maryland

Baltimore — The city of Baltimore will be providing firefighters, EMS providers and police officers with a $200 biweekly stipend during the pandemic, as well as a $100 biweekly stipend for other "mission critical" employees. 

Montgomery County — The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local 1664, Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge 35 and United Food and Commercial Workers (MCGEO) Local 1994 have reached an agreement with Montgomery County that will provide an additional $10 per hour for county employees represented by the IAFF and FOP and either $10 or $3 more per hour for MCGEO-represented employees depending on whether or not they regularly interact with the public. 

Massachusetts

Statewide — More than 6,000 state healthcare workers represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 93 in Massachusetts will receive hazard pay of up to $10 per hour after an agreement between union and state officials.  

Michigan

Statewide — About 6,000 corrections officers represented by the Michigan Corrections Organization will receive an additional $750 per pay period in hazard pay after about 360 of the state's 38,000 prisoners and 151 of its 12,000 corrections department employees have tested positive for COVID-19. 

Burton — Burton's city council approved bonuses of $1,000 for police officers, $250 for firefighters and up to $1,000 for any city employee working "above and beyond the call of duty" during the COVID-19 crisis. The proposal was approved following news that three Burton police officers contracted the virus. 

Detroit — Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced that the city's first responders and other employees that work with the public will receive about $800 per month for the duration of the state emergency. 

Flint — The city of Flint voted to pay each sworn police officer and firefighter working during COVID-19 $1,200 in hazardous duty pay. Other police and fire department staff will receive $750 and Department of Public Works water service employees will receive $1,000. 

Macomb County — Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel announced that all county employees who are deemed essential will receive hazard pay of $1 or $2 more per hour depending on whether they regularly interact with the public. 

Mount Clemens — Mount Clemens commissioners approved hazard pay of an additional $2 per hour for firefighters and bus drivers. 

Oakland County — Oakland County is providing hazard pay to hourly employees who spend time working on-site, including sheriff's office, health division, emergency operations, facilities and water resources employees. The amount of hazard pay depends on the amount of time the employee spends working on-site. 

Washtenaw County — The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners approved a tentative agreement with the Police Officers Association of Michigan to provide its members with hazard pay. Union members will receive a 1.5% structural increase on all hours worked since Jan. 1, and receive a 2% pay increase for hours worked between March 1 and June 30. Members will also receive a 0.5% non-structural increase for the rest of the year. The agreement is part of a contract that goes up for final approval on May 6. Update 5/7: The Board of Commissioners has approved an agreement that will provide a total pay increase of 4% for the year for nearly 230 deputies and corrections officers. 

Mississippi

Clarksdale — Clarksdale's mayor announced that 147 city employees, including first responders and public works employees, will receive hazard pay in the form of a 5% raise for at least two pay periods. 

Jackson — Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba announced that first responders would receive hazard pay and receive their first checks at the end of April. The exact amount of additional pay was not reported. 

Ocean Springs — Ocean Springs' Board of Aldermen approved hazard pay of an additional $100 per week for 10 weeks for police officers and firefighters.

New Hampshire

Statewide — New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu announced that police officers, firefighters, EMS providers, corrections officers and other first responders will be eligible to receive weekly stipends during the COVID-19 pandemic. Full-time first responders will be eligible for $300 weekly and part-time personnel as well as volunteer firefighters and EMTs will be eligible for $150 per week. The program will be funded through CARES Act funds received by the state. 

North Carolina

Charlotte — Charlotte employees who have frequent, direct contact with the public, including first responders, will receive hazard pay of 5% over their base pay until the Mecklenburg County stay-at-home order is lifted. 

Rockingham — Police and fire department personnel in Rockingham will receive a one-time $250 payment for working during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

North Dakota

Valley City — The Valley City Commission voted to increase the pay of nine city police officers working during the COVID-19 pandemic by $500 a month for three months. 

Ohio

Statewide — The State of Ohio will provide hazard pay for state corrections officers based on the impact of COVID-19 at their facility. At facilities where both staff and inmates have tested positive, employees will receive an additional 10% per hour. "Emergency pay" of an additional $8 per hour would also be provided in specific cases if other state employees were sent home but corrections officers were still working. 

Oklahoma 

Stephens County — The Stephens County Commissioners Board approved an additional $2 per hour in hazard pay for sheriff's office employees. 

Pennsylvania 

Lock Haven — The Lock Haven City Council approved hazard pay of an additional $2 per hour for on-site essential employees including first responders. The resolution is retroactive to March 17 with an end date yet to be determined. 

South Carolina

Charleston County — Charleston County has activated its Emergency Conditions Pay Program for the first time in at least 30 years, providing an additional $100 per week for salaried workers and an additional $250 per week for hourly workers. The program applies to all county employees considered essential, including first responders and public works employees. 

Summerville — Non-exempt Summerville town employees working during the COVID-19 crisis will receive an extra $300 per week in hazard pay. 

Texas 

Collin County — The Collin County Commissioners Court approved emergency compensation for county workers for the duration of the county's emergency period. Workers considered "mandatory" will receive a stipend of $6 per hour and those considered "not mandatory" will receive a $3 per hour stipend. 

Dallas County — The Dallas County Commissioners Court will temporarily increase pay for first responders and healthcare workers. The amount and duration of the pay increase was not published. 

Denton County — The Denton County Commissioners Court approved hazard pay of up to $80 per week for its critical employees, mostly detention officers, sheriff's deputies and constables. The pay increase will remain until the county's disaster declaration is lifted.  

Donna — The Donna City Council unanimously approved an additional $700 per month in hazard pay for 29 patrol officers and three firefighters in the city. The provision is currently set to last for six weeks but could be extended, officials said. 

Glen Heights — The Glenn Heights City Council unanimously approved hazard pay for frontline workers, including first responders and public works employees. Eligible employees will receive a pay increase of $2 per hour until the city's disaster declaration is lifted.

Navarro County — The Navarro County Commissioners Court approved hazard pay of an additional $5 per hour for Sheriff's Department and Road and Bridge personnel. 

Washington, D.C.

Mayor Muriel Bowser announced April 14 that all employees required to physically report to work during the pandemic will receive $14 per day per diem as long as the city can afford to pay it.

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