ESSENTIAL WORKER PAY
Fill out the form below to support HB 3409, providing Essential Worker Pay.
Now is the time to support HB 3409, the Oregon Pandemic Recovery Plan. This bill draws together the Essential Worker Pay program that you have heard about already and a program to support Oregon workers returning to essential jobs as our economy reopens.
Essential Worker Grants
The last year has been hard for everyone in our society. The global pandemic was uncharted territory for everyone and it impacted so many people in so many different ways. Through it all, workers and businesses alike had to step and adapt to ever-changing public health guidance, COVID-19 safety precautions, and more. What’s more, the economic impacts of the pandemic haven’t been felt equally.
Workers across our state were deemed “essential” and asked to mask up and show up to work, often without adequate PPE and during times the virus was surging in our communities. From farmworkers to grocery store workers to behavioral health counselors to health care workers, and more, thousands of Oregonians went to work so that the rest of us could stay home and stay safe. They did so at great personal risk and with financial hardship, and often without any additional compensation. Others were either laid off or forced to stay home due to the competing pressures of family, personal health and safety risk, child care, and more. In both cases, the frontline workforce is disproportionately built up of lower wage workers, immigrants, women and people of color.
The good news is, Oregon has an opportunity to change this. One of the expressly intended goals of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds is to pay hazard pay to those workers who couldn’t stay home or telework. As our economy begins the recovery process we are asking that we invest these ARPA dollars into Essential Worker Pay to recognize those who sacrificed while kick-starting our economic recovery. Our essential workers are also the ones most likely to spend this money in our communities which could have a tremendous impact on many local economies across the state.
As the risk of Covid-19 exposure lessens but doesn’t disappear, it can greatly strengthen our state’s economic recovery if workers sidelined by the pandemic can be reengaged. In many essential worker roles, recruitment was difficult even before the pandemic. Offering hiring support to workers who drew unemployment benefits during the pandemic but are now able to transition back to work will help those workers in transition as well as supporting Oregon employers who need help filling essential roles in communities across the state.
Thank you for your consideration and support.
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Teresa Alonso Leon
State Representative - HD 22
State Representative - HD 42
State Representative - HD 27
State Representative - HD 35
Senator Deb Patterson
State Senator - SD 10
State Representative - HD 52
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