Hazard pay for some local county workers

Updated: Apr. 20, 2020 at 6:27 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Millions of workers across the country have been laid off or furloughed because of the new coronavirus, while others are working from home if possible.

But for many essential government employees such as EMS, firefighters, public works and law enforcement, working from home is just not an option.

Compensating those essential workers with extra money in their paychecks is called hazard pay.

It's in effect in cities from Savannah to San Diego.

Here is the Lowcountry, Charleston County’s Emergency Conditions Pay Program is now in effect for the first time in at least 30 years.

Council Chairman Elliott Summey brought this topic up in their council meeting more than a month ago.

“Our public works folks, police officers, EMS, firefighters are asked to continue to work while others are at home," he said."I want to find a way to compensate them. We’ve asked these folks to go above and beyond the call and duty for the sixth time in four years. It’s about time we found a way to thank them for their loyalty to this community.”

A Charleston County spokesperson tells us right now, employees who are considered essential enough to work in their offices or out in the field are receiving a temporary pay increase.

Eligible Charleston County hourly employees are earning an extra $250 per week.

Salaried workers are getting an additional $100 per week, except for some senior management roles.

Dorchester County launched an emergency pay plan earlier this month. Officials there are expected to reveal the details of the plan during tonight’s County Council meeting.

We checked with other counties, too, and Beaufort, Berkeley, and Georgetown Counties are not providing hazard pay to any employees

We have not heard back from Colleton or Williamsburg counties yet.

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