Fairfax County is giving some love to its heroes!
This past Tuesday, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors agreed to give hard pay bonuses to their employees working in "high-risk" jobs. Originally $1,500, the bonuses were bumped to $2,000 during the Board's final vote. The reward will be $2,000.
A much-deserved reward.
Jeff McKay, Board of Supervisors Chairman, had some gracious words: "Our first responders and other members of our County staff put their lives on the line every day, risking contracting COVID-19, in their work with the community ... We are grateful that we have sufficient funds via the CARES Act to support hazard pay for our employees."
The CARES Act has been a saving grace for renting, housing, and relief for small business suffering during the pandemic. Fairfax County has received near $200 million through the Act, with these new hazard pay bonuses coming from a $10 million allocation.
The county will use the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health program's safety standards created last summer to choose who will receive the bonuses, which will be handed out to those in both "high-risk" and "very high-risk" work environments. Several differentials exist between both.
As developed by Virginia's workplace safety standards, people in "high-risk jobs" include hospital workers, mortuary service workers, medical staff, dental staff, long-term care facility staff, and medical transport drivers, among others. They risk being exposed inside 6 feet to those suspected of having the virus.
People who have "very high-risk jobs" include post-mortem staff, specific medical staff, or any others dealing with known coronavirus specimens.
To qualify for these bonus payments, an employee had to be in their job on or before October 1, 2020, and still be there. If they were on leave for over 70% of their hours, they cannot qualify. Any other pandemic bonuses will have the $2,000 deducted from them.
McKay had further comments, saying, "We are approaching the end of what has been a difficult fiscal year and our prudence allows us to provide our employees' bonuses without impacting future budgets ... I know this is nowhere near a pay increase our employees may have expected in better times, but it is a modest way in this troubling fiscal environment to say thanks. I know I speak for all of us when I say how proud I am of the way our employees stepped up this past year."
Neither McKay nor other Board members mentioned the amount of the bonus payments.
Employees hoping to see the bonuses, which should be coming out in the fiscal year's third quarter, will have to go through a final verification process to confirm if they fall in the designated job risk.
Are you one of those who qualify for this bonus? Share in the comments.