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On July 29, the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Board of Directors approved hazard pay for eligible Sault Tribe governmental workers. Hazard pay is an extra $2 per hour from March 17 through Dec. 30 for those who undertake additional risk related to COVID-19.

Kewadin Casinos and Sault Tribe enterprises are compensating their team members for their extra risk with appreciation pay.

Chairperson Aaron Payment said, “The Sault Tribe Board of Directors, our Executive Administration and I highly value our team members, your safety and your overall wellbeing. We appreciate your patience as we finalized the policy for providing hazard pay and appreciation pay for our governmental team members and Enterprise and Kewadin Casino team members.”

Payment added, “Federal guidelines under the CARES Act are very strict and frustrating to navigate. Your patience is appreciated. If you have any question of whether or not you qualify for this benefit, please check with your supervisor or contact Human Resources.”

Governmental team members are eligible for hazard pay if their job duties are “substantially dedicated to mitigating or responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency,” according to the resolution approving the hazard pay. Time periods where the employee was working remotely, on paid leave or receiving unemployment benefits are excluded from hazard pay.

Eligible positions will be listed on a hazard pay schedule. There are two different categories of eligible positions—those who are directly responding to the COVID-19 public health crisis, and those whose regular job duties have been diverted to addressing COVID-19 related matters and experience increased exposure to COVID-19.

In the first category, all public safety, public health, health care, human services and similar governmental team members who are directly responding to the COVID-19 public health crisis are eligible for hazard pay. Some examples of eligible positions are team members in security and law enforcement, emergency management, medical services, tribal court, or sanitation and janitorial positions.

In the second category, team members whose normal job duties have been diverted to addressing COVID-19 related matters will be identified and selected by departmental directors, subject to review and approval by the Legal Department. Some examples of eligible positions are those in food distribution, IT, administration and accounting or public assistance programs.

Team members with any questions should contact their supervisor or Human Resources.

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Photo by Ken Bosma / CC BY