Nearly 5,400 city of Atlanta employees will get $500 a month in hazard pay for working during the pandemic under a new order from Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.

The order is effective March 30 — the day before it was filed with the city clerk — and continues through June 30.
The order gives an open-ended list of types of jobs eligible for hazard pay. They include “sworn public safety positions and civilians performing critical watershed, aviation, solid waste, transportation, inspection, parks and recreation and other front-line functions.”

The extra pay is compensation for “working in areas necessary for the purposes of eliminating or reducing immediate threats to life, public heath or safety, where their work could expose them to the coronavirus…,” the order says.

The pay apparently does not apply to elected officials or their staff members, according to Mayor’s Office spokesperson Michael Smith.

“As Atlanta families manage the COVID-19 crisis, there are city employees going out each and every day so that critical city services continue without disruption,” said Bottoms in a press release. “These men and women leave their homes to keep our streets safe, ensure our communities are maintained, keep our water clean and so much more. They are putting their lives on the line and we are grateful for their service.”

Update: This story has been updated with comment from the Mayor’s Office.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.