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MN Legislature Identifies Criteria for Frontline Worker Pay

When the Minnesota Legislature finally passed a bill allocating $500 million to be distributed to COVID-19 frontline workers, it created criteria and identified front line sectors.

Trucking is NOT called out as a frontline sector. However, “foodservice delivery,” “retail fulfillment, distribution and delivery” and “ground and air transportation services” are specifically identified.

MTA does know that anyone interested in applying for a bonus must complete an online application. It was not yet available at the time of this writing but will be posted at once the application period is opened.

Within 15 days after the application period is opened, employers in the identified frontline sector must provide notice to all current workers who may be eligible for payments of the assistance available to them and how to apply for payments. The Department of Labor and Industry is currently developing a form that can be used by employers to meet this obligation.

MTA believes two factors will ultimately determine eligibility: amount of regular human contact as part of your job during the peacetime emergency, and how you tell your story in the application.

Each eligible applicant will be provided with an equal payment, not to exceed $1,500. All applications will move through the process at the same time and payments will be forwarded for processing together. Those whose applications are denied may appeal the decision within 15 days of notice of denial. Ultimately the fund will be evenly distributed among all approved applicants.

Specifically, the applicant:

  • must have been employed at least 120 hours in Minnesota in one or more frontline sectors between March 15, 2020, and June 30, 2021.

  • for the hours worked during this time period the applicant – was not able to telework due to the nature of the individual’s work and worked in close proximity to people outside of the individual’s household;

  • must meet the income requirements for at least one year between Dec. 31, 2019, and Jan. 1, 2022 – workers with direct COVID-19 patient care responsibilities must have had an adjusted gross income of less than $350,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly, or less than $175,000 for other filers and for workers in occupations without direct COVID-19 patient care responsibilities, the adjusted gross income limit is $185,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly, or $85,000 for other filers; and

  • must not have received an unemployment insurance benefit payment or serve a nonpayable week for more than 20 weeks on a cumulative basis for weeks between March 15, 2020, and June 26, 2021 (Minnesota Statutes, section 268.085, subdivision 1, clause 6).



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