In my opinion, essential workers deserve hazard pay. They are exposing themselves just to make sure that what is needed to keep society afloat is still being done. There are some who do get hazard pay, but many private companies are withholding that pay from their employees and still demand them to come in.

The U.S. Department of Labor states that “hazard pay means additional pay for performing hazardous duty.” If working through a deadly pandemic and risking our well-being is not hazardous duty, then what awful event makes our jobs qualify for that?

I believe the government should step in and help those who are risking their lives and overrule private companies. You might say that at least these essential workers still have a job, but some essential workers make less than those on unemployment while still risking their life.

Matthew Kolychev, Camas