CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN)- City employees in Clarksville who worked through the worst of the pandemic are upset after being left out of Hazard Pay because of a technical deadline. Now, the Clarksville City Council is taking a second look at what they can do for these employees.

“It feels like you pretty much devoted your whole life to one company,” said Joyce Arms as she held back tears. “I just felt like it was a slap in the face.”

For 43 years, Arms devoted herself to working for the CDE Lightband company. Born and raised in Clarksville, she worked every day, even when the COVID-19 Pandemic hit. Her job was deemed essential.

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“During that time, everything was shutting down, everybody was scared. We worked during that scary part of our lives,” Arms said.

Arms was able to get through the pandemic without contracting the virus, that is, until she and her husband caught it in December of 2021. The entire time, she worked between the office and home. After the holidays, Arms made the decision to retire and spend more time with her grandchildren — a choice she said she would have re-thought if she had known she qualified for COVID Hazard Pay.

“I didn’t have to retire, I did not have to retire. I chose to retire, and you know it still, it still hurts,” said Arms. “It’s not just me, it’s hundreds of employees that this has affected.”

Less than a week after her retirement, Arms found out city employees would be eligible for COVID Hazard Pay. At first, she was excited, but then she read the fine print. The funds would be given to city employees who worked during the pandemic, between March 1, 2020, and March 1, 2022. However, because Arms left a little more than 2 weeks before the cut-off, she gets nothing.

“A person that works for the water company cannot say, sorry it’s COVID, I can’t make it today. They kept this city running, and for them to retire and had worked all those many years,” express Councilwoman Wanda Allen.

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Allen is spearheading a new initiative to have the city council take a second look at how the funds will be distributed. The council is set to have a Special Session meeting at a later date in September.