“Fiscal Recovery Funds payments may be used by recipients to provide premium pay to eligible workers performing essential work during the COVID-19 public health emergency or to provide grants to third-party employers with eligible workers performing essential work. These are workers who have been and continue to be relied on to maintain continuity of operations of essential critical infrastructure sectors, including those who are critical to protecting the health and wellbeing of their communities.”
To be eligible for premium pay, workers must be an essential worker who regularly performed in person work, interacted with others at work, or physically handled items handled by others in critical infrastructure sectors. A worker performing telework from a residence would not be eligible for premium pay. Critical infrastructure sectors include, with examples:
- Staff at nursing homes, hospitals, and home care settings
- Childcare workers, educators, and other school staff
- Public transit staff, gas station staff
- Waste collectors, wastewater/sewer staff, janitors
- Farmers, grocery store employees, meat packing plant employees, truck drivers
- Vaccine center staff, emergency medical services
Recipients may add additional sectors that are considered critical to protect the health and well-being of residents. Third-party employers and third-party contractors who employ essential workers are also eligible for premium pay.
Lower income workers must take priority in awarding premium pay.
- Premium pay means an amount up to $13 per hour in addition to usual wages/other remuneration received. It cannot be used to reduce or substitute a worker’s normal earnings.
- Any eligible individual worker may receive up to but not exceed $25,000 in aggregate
- “If premium pay would increase a worker’s total pay above 150 percent of their residing state’s average annual wage for all occupations, as defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics, or their residing county’s average annual wage, as defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics, whichever is higher, on an annual basis, the recipient must provide Treasury and make publicly available, whether for themselves or on behalf of a grantee, a written justification of how the premium pay or grant is responsive to workers performing essential worker during the public health emergency.”
- Recipients are encouraged to provide premium pay retroactively, covering the period from March 1, 2020, continuing through to the present.
The projects will be treated as advancements to the applicant and will require the grantee to report on a quarterly basis the status of the project, including expenditures.
Quotes obtained from the Interim Final Rule