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Clayton County issuing hazard pay in COVID-19 fight

Clayton turned down a proposal to do the same in April citing budget constraints during a county commission meeting. Instead, the county said the employees would be compensated by adding extra hours to their annual leave packages.

“We did it like that because we didn’t have the money to pay … without having to dig into the fund balance,” Clayton Commission Chairman Jeff Turner said. “We were hit with a lot of lost revenue when it came to the loss of tourism and court fines. And because we did not know how long this was going to last, we thought it was prudent to keep our resources intact.”

That changed when the CARES funds starting trickling down to medium-size counties such as Clayton, which is slated to receive $12.2 million in CARES funding, according to Gov. Brian Kemp’s office.

“When we found out that money can be used for hazardous pay, that’s one of the first things that we decided we were going to do,” Turner said.

The pay will likely be available to workers in September, the county leaders said. About 1,950 employees are eligible for the payment, which is for hours worked between March 16 and May 11.

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