WASHINGTON – Federal employees who were exposed to COVID-19 in the workplace are now able to join a class-action lawsuit brought by the American Federation of Government Employees and Heidi Burakiewicz of the law firm Kalijarvi, Chuzi, Newman and Fitch (KCNF).
A new website has just launched that allows employees to join the lawsuit, which was the first case filed on behalf of workers arising out of the pandemic.
Although the lawsuit covers all federal employees who were exposed to COVID-19 while on the job, the court requires each person to sign up individually. The website is www.hazardpaylawsuit.com.
“Every federal worker who was exposed to this virus while on the job is entitled to compensation for the dangers they encountered,” AFGE National President Everett Kelley said. “But in order to be part of the lawsuit, each employee must fill out the paperwork online to join the case.”
Employees are eligible for hazardous duty pay or environmental differential pay if they were exposed to COVID-19 in the course of their work and so long as their position classification does not include exposure to infectious diseases as a condition of employment.
AFGE and Burakiewicz from KCNF filed a lawsuit in the Court of Federal Claims in March 2020 seeking compensation for federal workers who have been exposed to COVID-19 in the workplace. The lawsuit seeks 25% hazardous duty pay for exposed General Schedule employees and 8% environmental differential pay for exposed Wage Grade employees.
“Federal workers who risked their lives and their families’ lives while performing their jobs absolutely should be compensated for the hazards they faced,” Burakiewicz said. “We encourage all federal employees who had to leave the safety of their homes to go to work during the pandemic to join our lawsuit by registering online today.”
Questions federal employees have about the case can be emailed to the law firm at [email protected].