Maryland’s largest county has distributed about $50 million in hazard pay to essential workers risking exposure during the coronavirus pandemic, even as other jurisdictions have taken steps to curtail such payments or offered far less.
Montgomery County employees since March 29 have been able to claim an additional salary of up to $800 per two-week pay period if they perform “front-facing” essential services such as policing, firefighting or working on public transit.
Hazard pay is $350 per two-week period in neighboring Prince George’s County, $250 in Anne Arundel County and $200 in Baltimore County. The District suspended its hazard pay program July 25, after the city entered Phase 2 of its reopening plan, and the state of Maryland has curtailed most of its extra payments.
As of September, Montgomery County had distributed $49.2 million in hazard pay. If current policies persist, that number will reach $72 million by the end of the year, according to a recent memo to the Montgomery County Council.