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Hazardous duty pay rate set for workers in COVID-19 pandemic work

Gov. Lemanu Peleti Pelepoi Sialega Mauga
Gov’s memo defines restrictions to such pay

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Through a new memorandum, Gov. Lemanu Peleti Pelepoi Sialega Mauga, set a hazardous pay policy for workers involved in the COVID-19 pandemic work. The new policy is effective Apr. 5, 2021 until Dec. 31, 2021, unless it is extended, the governor said in his “Hazardous Duty Pay” memorandum dated Apr. 1st.

Pursuant to local regulations — A.S.A.C 4.0411 — pertaining to hazardous pay, the governor informed cabinet members that ASG employees who work in hazardous conditions relating to the local response to COVID-19 shall be paid a hazardous duty pay of $1 an hour for every hour when they are:

•           In direct contact with people who are in quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19;

•           Cleaning, disinfecting or decontaminating areas or property exposed to people who are in quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19

•           Working inside a portion of a building that is occupied by people in quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19; or

•           On board a vessel with people who have not been tested for or who have tested positive for COVID-19.

The governor explained that due to the additional hazards caused by fatigue, managers should avoid having a person work in hazardous conditions, while working overtime.

“If someone does work in a hazardous condition while working overtime, hazardous pay will apply before overtime computations are made,” the governor points out.

A.S.A.C 4.0411 states in part that, “It is recognized that some positions at times involved intrinsically hazardous working conditions, justifying “hazard pay” — which is pay additional to the normal hourly pay for the position, payable to employees while actually engaged in the hazardous activities.

In previous COVID-19 health declarations, issued by former Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga, he waived restrictions on “hazard pay” and directed the Human Resources director to develop a policy to compensate medical personnel, first responders, and all ASG employees that face increased risk and exposure associated with their duties.

(Hazardous duty pay is paid separately and in addition to regular pay and OT.)