EVERETT, Wash. — Nearly 2,000 Snohomish County employees will be getting some extra money in their paychecks today.
Snohomish County allocated $2.5 million total in American Rescue Plan funding to go directly to some county employees considered critical workers who were not able to work from home during the pandemic. Workers will get $1,250 in hazard pay bonuses.
"Within our general fund budget, we have limited ability to do things like this, but it was authorized by the federal government. And so, we thought we'll take advantage of that and put some of that money to that use,” explained Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers. "We really looked at those within the county who just really had to keep working."
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Bonuses are split into two payments of $625, the first this week and the second in the first week of October.
All employees receiving bonuses are critical workers like sheriff's deputies, corrections officers, public works, court employees, human services and more.
"They didn't have the luxury, really, of going on to Zoom meetings like many of our office workers did. And for example, myself and my office,” said Somers.
The county has many open jobs to fill, Sommer added. He hopes the bonuses keep current workers from leaving, which would compound their hiring problems.
"We have openings and have difficulties filling them. Particularly with difficult jobs, like being a sheriff's deputy or an officer on the street, it's a tough job. We're in a very competitive job market, we want to make sure our employees are recognized and appreciated. And it's just going to help us keep business going,” he said.