Service + Solidarity Spotlight: AFGE Launches Website in Fight for COVID-19 Hazard Pay for Federal Employees

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

AFGE, led by National President Everett Kelley, continues its aggressive fight to secure hazard pay for federal employees who were exposed to COVID-19 in the workplace. Eligible employees can join a class-action lawsuit brought by AFGE and Heidi Burakiewicz of the law firm Kalijarvi, Chuzi, Newman & Fitch (KCNF). A new website has been launched that will allow employees to join the lawsuit.

Federal court rules require each person to sign up individually to participate in the class-action suit, and AFGE and Burakiewicz are making it that much easier by launching

“Every federal worker who was exposed to this virus while on the job is entitled to compensation for the dangers they encountered,” Kelley said. “But in order to be part of the lawsuit, each employee must fill out the paperwork online to join the case.”

Unless an employee’s position classification includes exposure to infectious diseases as a condition of employment, federal employees are eligible to join the lawsuit if they were exposed to COVID-19 in the course of their work. The lawsuit was filed in March 2020 and seeks 25% hazardous duty pay for general schedule employees and an 8% environmental differential pay for wage grade employees.

“Federal workers who risked their lives and their families’ lives while performing their jobs absolutely should be compensated for the hazards they faced,” Burakiewicz said. “We encourage all federal employees who had to leave the safety of their homes to go to work during the pandemic to join our lawsuit by registering online today.”