Hazard Pay for Illinois Essential Employees During State Lockdown

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Dear Governor J.B. Pritzker,

Residents of the state of Illinois thank you for your hard work and efforts at fighting the covid-19 pandemic. You have taken many necessary measures including your recent state-wide lockdown. 

As a result of this lockdown you have ordered that only essential businesses and places of employment may remain open. This includes medical & healthcare facilities/ offices, grocery stores, pharmacies, production workers, environmental services, delivery services, community safety officers (such as the police), the Illinois National Guard, etc. Us workers all have essential roles in the safety & well being of our community and helping our community in this pandemic. We are all very fortunate and grateful to still have our jobs during these hard times. 

Unfortunately for us, going to work despite the measures being taken is putting ourselves and our families at risk of exposure to the covid-19 virus just by going to work. If you are saying that only essential businesses should stay open and we should only leave our homes when necessary because it is “too dangerous” to be in public, then shouldn’t us essential employees be entitled to hazard pay for the risk we are taking simply going to work?

Many essential employees have immediate family members who are without work or pay and are currently their families only source of income during this pandemic. Many essential employees are having to work extra hours and overtime not only to help support their families hurting for income, but also because their employer is suffering as a result of employees calling off of work either to self quarantine or to take care of children as a result of schools closing down. Receiving hazard pay could help those families.

Governor Pritzker, we are asking you to make sure all essential employees are entitled to a hazard pay of double our salaries or hourly pay for all of our hard work during hard and dangerous times as long as this statewide lockdown is in place. It is only fair to us that by taking the risk going to work, we are financially compensated for our dedications to our employers and to our communities.