Reed Proposes The Rewarding American Workers Act

June 1, 2020

From Congressman Tom Reed:

The Rewarding American Workers Act is an opportunity to compensate and reward American workers who have persevered through this crisis and continued to show up to work, day-in and day-out. The bill will provide much needed financial relief to millions of Americans, while also ensuring work continues to be financially incentivized. The bill would reward individuals who worked during this economic and health crisis by providing them with a one-time payment based on a percentage of the wages that they earn.

Why is the Rewarding American Workers Act Needed?
The coronavirus has imposed numerous challenges on low to middle income American workers. Many workers have been laid off or furloughed as states have restricted or shutdown business activity. To address the stark increase in unemployment, Congress significantly boosted unemployment insurance in the CARES Act. While it is important those unable to work receive the financial support they need, thousands of American workers who have stayed on the payroll to keep America running have had to confront a frustrating reality; Congress has disincentivized their hard work. In fact, a recent report by the Wall Street Journal found that over half of American workers could receive more money from unemployment than their salaried job.
We must ensure our frontline workers are rewarded for keeping our economy afloat during this crisis and serving the American people.

How It Works:
American Worker Act Bonus:
➢ Provides an advanceable and refundable tax credit to businesses to give their workers a bonus equal to 30% of the wages earned during the crisis for individuals making less than $30,000 per year.
➢ The credits phase down as income rises. The credit will cover a bonus of 5% of wages earned during the crisis for individuals earning $55,000 per year. ➢ The credit will cover a payment of $600 for individual’s earning between $55,000 and $99,000 per year. ➢ The bill uses existing IRS and Treasury authorities because it is the quickest way to ensure workers get financial relief.
Who Qualifies:
➢ American workers who are under the wage caps that have been on payroll for the entirety of the covered period (defined as the length of the National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).