The Tuscaloosa City Council unanimously approved a new financial incentive for City employees made available through federal funding in response to COVID-19 at their regular meeting Tuesday.

The City of Tuscaloosa was a recipient of federal funds under Section 603 of the American Rescue Plan Act, which provided funds to metropolitan cities with more than 50,000 residents. Under this act, those performing what's labeled as "essential work" during the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to receive premium pay for their work.

Those eligible are defined as workers "needed to maintain continuity of operations of essential critical infrastructure sectors," including healthcare workers and government institutions.

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The City has divided its eligible workers into two levels based on their exposure risk to the virus. Level 2 employees consist of regular status full-time City employees that work "in an uncontrolled environment, in close contact with the public, or whose job placed them at a higher risk of coming in contact with contaminated materials regardless of PPE," according to the City Council agenda.

Level 2 employees include but are not limited to:

  • Sworn police officers
  • Sworn firefighters
  • Environmental service employees
  • Employees working at the Love, Plott or Fletcher plants
  • Addition employees as determined by Mayor Maddox and approved by Human Resources Department and the Office of the City Attorney.

Level 1 employees included all eligible regular status full-time employees excluded from Level 2.

Level 2 employees will receive a one-time payment of $2,500, and Level 1 employees likewise will receive a one-time payment of $1,250 to be paid on October 29, 2021.

Any person employed by the City from March 1, 2020 until March 31, 2021 and remain employed through October 29, 2021 is eligible to receive the COVID-19 Hero Bonus.

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