A lawsuit seeking hazard pay for federal employees who have been exposed to the COVID-19 coronavirus has been amended to add new plaintiffs.
The lawsuit, which was filed by the American Federation of Government Employees and the Kalijarvi, Chuzi, Newman & Fitch (KCNF DC) law firm on behalf of plaintiffs from the Bureau of Prisons, Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, has been expanded to add new plaintiffs from the Department of Labor, Social Security Administration, Federal Grain Inspection Service, multiple Department of Defense components (including the Air Force, Army, and Defense Commissary Agency), and multiple Department of Homeland Security components (including Citizenship and Immigration Services, Transportation Security Administration, Customs and Border Protection, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement).
The lawsuit claims that federal employees under the General Schedule pay system who have been exposed to the coronavirus are entitled to 25% hazard pay under Title V because they were exposed to “hazardous working conditions through the performance of their assigned duties and that the hazardous duty had not been taken into account in the classification of their positions.”
“Federal employees are risking their lives and the lives of their families every day when they leave their homes. It has been four months since we filed this lawsuit and the federal government isn’t doing a better job of protecting its work force. Rather, large numbers of federal employees have gotten sick and died, including at the Bureau of Prisons. Whether it’s failing to take commonsense precautions and to provide PPE or not allowing people to telework – the federal workforce is suffering,” said Heidi Burakiewicz, partner at KCNF DC. “All of these men and women, and many others working in jobs across the federal government, have met the legal standards outlined in Title 5, and the government needs to give them their hazard pay differential.”
A copy of the amended complaint is included below.