Romney proposes temporarily raising pay for essential workers amid pandemic

Mitt Romney is proposing a temporary raise in pay for essential workers he calls “”Patriot Pay.”

Romney tweeted:

I’m introducing because our essential workers—those putting themselves in greater risk on the frontlines of —deserve our unwavering support. For more information on my plan to help ensure essential workers receive greater compensation

TheHill reports Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) proposed legislation on Friday to temporarily provide a pay increase for essential workers amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The proposal, which Romney called “Patriot Pay,” would provide a bonus of up to $12 per hour, or $1,920 per month, in May, June and July.

“Health care professionals, grocery store workers, food processors, and many others—the unsung patriots on the frontline of this pandemic—every day risk their safety for the health and well-being of our country, and they deserve our unwavering support,” Romney said in a statement. “Patriot Pay is a way for us to reward our essential workers as they continue to keep Americans safe, healthy, and fed.”

According to an outline of the proposal from Romney’s office, the Labor Department and Congress would designate the specifics on who would qualify for the hazard pay, but it would include industries like hospitals, food distributors and health care manufacturers. Employees would have to work at least 100 hours per month to be eligible, and the employer would have to certify that they worked in conditions that increased their risk of being exposed to COVID-19.

The measure would provide a $12 per hour temporary pay increase to individuals making up to $50,000 per year before being scaled down through an annual income of $90,000 per year, at which point it would be phased out altogether.