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Workers’ Compensation

Vermont to Pay Out $90 Million to Essential Workers Working through the Pandemic



A Second Bill which Compensates Employees who Contract the Virus on the Job also Passed

111th US Senate class photo

The US Senate has agreed on the amount of money it will pay Vermont’s essential workers over the next three months to supplement their income during the pandemic.
The Senate Appropriation Committee has allowed the state to spend $90 million over the months of April, May, and June. The amount will be taken from the state’s $1.5 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund it received from the federal CARES Act package.
The new bill stipulates that workers who work over 108 hours a month will receive a $1,000 monthly grant while those who work at least 34 hours a month a $600 monthly grant.
Vermont has about 33,500 employees who are set to benefit from the grants under the new bill, 20-0964.
Those set to benefit from the grant program include pharmacists, trash collectors, dentists, childcare workers, grocers, homeless shelter staff, and others who are required to interact with the public during the pandemic. The new bill is yet to be passed out of the committee stage.
A second bill that seeks to compensate employees who contract the virus on the job was also passed from the senate after a 5-0 vote by the Senate Economic Development committee.
Although there were disagreements on what kinds of workers are eligible for compensation, there was a proposal to cover all employees who earn $25 per hour or below. The grants program is expected to include nursing home workers and home health aides who typically earn above the $25 per hour threshold on average.

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