HOUSTON, Texas -- The board of directors for the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County approved a one-time $1.8 million payment for workers who have been on the frontlines during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Titled the "COVID-19 Service Recognition Program", the board of directors voted unanimously to approve the payment, worth the equivalent of $150 per week for full-time employees and $75 per week for part-time employees from March 22-May 2, according to Tim Kelly, METRO's operations, public safety and customer service executive vice president, in his presentation to the board during its July 23 meeting. The time frame selected is associated with the "Stay Home, Work Safe" order issued by Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo on March 24, then later extended to April 30.
"This program is intended to recognize those who diligently reported to work in the beginning weeks of this unprecedented difficult period of time," Kelly said.
Over 1,800 frontline, "customer-interfacing" employees are eligible for the payment from across five departments, including operations, procurement, police, safety and facilities maintenance.
Full-time eligible employees must have worked a minimum of 32 hours per week, while part-time employees must have clocked 16 hours per week.
The payment comes as METRO has reported 146 employees and 43 contractors who have contracted COVID-19 as of July 22, while 50 have recovered and returned to work.
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METRO board approves $1.8 million payment for frontline workers during COVID-19