Employee Resource Guide During COVID 19

This is created as a draft resource guide to help businesses impacted by COVID 19, particularly those in the service industry, communicate about policy changes and available resources to help support employee needs during this time. It is a living document and will continue to be updated as new information becomes available, and should be tailored to the needs of individual businesses


COVID 19 Resource Guide for Employees 

Updated 8/27/2020

[Sample Language: Employer Statement]: Our leadership at [Company] understands that the COVID 19 pandemic is taking a significant toll on people’s lives in many ways, and we want to be here to support you in any way we can. While we are doing everything we can to preserve as many jobs and a safe and healthy working environment for our team, we also want to share the following resources to lessen and help you navigate the impacts on your financial stability and physical and mental health. 

What are your rights in the workplace during COVID 19? 

What happens if I get sick, need to self-quarantine, or care for family members?

  • Take Paid Sick Leave: Under the new federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act, all employees are entitled to 10 days of sick leave paid at 100% of your average reported pay or at minimum, the minimum wage. 
  • If you experience symptoms of COVID 19, need to self- quarantine because of COVID 19, or need to care for a family member due to COVID 19 you may first use paid sick leave.
  • This is in addition to any existing paid sick leave you have accrued under the existing Maryland Healthy Working Families Act. 
  • You do not need to make a special application, you may use our normal procedures to call out sick and notify your supervisor [Describe any details of your company policy, and any ways that this new legislation will interact with your existing paid leave policy] 


  • Take Paid Family and Medical Leave: If you need to take more extended leave due to illness, self-quarantine, to care for family members, or if your child’s school is closed and you cannot work, The Families First Coronavirus Response Act entitles all employees to up to 12 weeks of family and medical leave paid at 2/ 3  of your average reported pay.
  • You do not need to make a special application, but should notify your supervisor by [Describe any details of your company policy, and any ways that this new legislation will interact with your existing family and medical leave policy]
  • File for Unemployment Insurance: Maryland recently extended Unemployment Benefits to any individual who needs to leave their jobs to prevent risk of COVID 19 exposure, or to care for a sick family member. Unemployment benefits are usually awarded at about half of your average pay.
  • More information at: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employee-paid-leave and https://www.dllr.state.md.us/paidleave/paidleavefaqs.shtml
  • https://beacon.labor.maryland.gov/claimant/

What if I’m laid off or my hours are cut? 

    • File for Unemployment Benefits:  While we are doing everything we can to keep all team members fully employed for as long as possible, if we need to make the difficult decision to temporarily lay off employees or limit the number of hours available, you are eligible to apply for Maryland Unemployment Insurance benefits.
    • Apply online or over the phone: 1-877-293-4125 M-F 7:00am- 6:00pm; Sat 8:00am- 12:00pm, Sun 12:00- 4:00pm
    • FAQs on the new Beacon system can be found here or Contact BEACON.support@maryland.gov or 1-877-293-4125  for questions
    • Benefits are typically calculated at about half of your average reported pay. 
    • To continue receiving Unemployment benefits, you must document active reemployment activities and you will automatically be enrolled in the Maryland Workforce Exchange online jobs portal, unless you are scheduled to return to work within 10 weeks, are a member of a labor union, or participating in a work-share program through a layoff aversion program. You can recertify online with the link provided in your approval documentation or by calling: 410-949- 0022 More information can be found here 


  • When am I eligible for Unemployment Benefits? 


    • If your hours are significantly cut
    • If our business needs to close due to City or State regulations, or out of safety concerns, even if you are still technically employed
    • If you are unable to work because of self-quarantine, illness, or care for a family member due to COVID 19
    • If you leave your job to prevent risk of exposure to COVID 19
  • Stimulus Payments: Under the CARES Act, every individual will receive a one-time $1,200 stimulus payment plus an additional $500 per dependent child. If you received a tax refund via direct deposit, you will receive this payment via direct deposit, otherwise it will be sent to your address on file with the IRS


  • Help finding a new or temporary position:The Mayor’s Office of Employment Development is helping jobseekers look for employment and seek other support,access the COVID 19 Job Board here

For additional resources on financial assistance and available local resources, call 211

Additional Financial Support 

Resources for Health & Health Insurance 


  • Questions about COVID 19: The University of Maryland has a free 24/7 nurse hotline– 1-888-713-0711


    • Apply for Medicaid Long Term Care Assistance: Long Term Services and Supports target individuals over 65, individuals with physical disabilities, individuals with intellectual disabilities, chronically ill children, and individuals eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare (“dual eligibles”). Medicaid covers certain services available to these participants based on medical necessity and technical and financial eligibility


  • For additional help in locating and accessing local health resources contact 211 


Free Mental Health Resources

  • Baltimore Pro Bono Counseling Project: talk to a counselor for free between 9:00am- 2:00pm call 410-825-1001
  • Baltimore Crisis Response: a central city hotline for crisis response services, 410-433-5175, to find mental health counseling resources call the Baltimore Behavioral Health System Baltimore at 410-637-1900, option #1
  • Maryland New Directions Free Tele-Counseling: receive no-cost support to manage increased stress and challenges due to COVID 19 from a licensed Mental Health Counselor, call 410-357-6091 to schedule an appointment
  • Maryland Peer Warm- Line: Provides support and resources around mental health or substance abuse needs, and someone to talk to for those having a difficult time. 1-877-794-7337 Tues- Sat 3:00- 9:00pm
  • SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline: Provides free phone crisis counseling,1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746
  • NAMI HelpLine: mental health resource hub, 800-950-NAMI (6264) Monday through Friday, between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm EST
  • Trans Lifeline: Peer support hotline staffed by Trans people, for Trans and Questioning individuals, 877-565-8860
  • Free Mobile Apps for dealing with anxiety and stress
    • Breathe2Relax
    • Happify
    • Headspace
    • Personal Zen
  • Additional resources at: https://mhanational.org/covid19


  • For additional support in locating and accessing local mental health, substance abuse, and domestic violence resources call 211 



Free Substance Abuse Resources: 


Resources for Domestic Violence Support 

Resources for Food & Hygiene Assistance 

  • Information about free Baltimore City grocery and produce boxes and hot meals can be found here 
    • Grocery Boxes
      • Wednesday 10am: Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church: 4506 Belair Rd 
      • Wednesday 11am: Greater Paradise Christian Center: 2900 E Oliver St
      • Wednesday 12pm: Park Heights Renaissance: 3939 Reisterstown Rd
      • Thursday 8am: Zion Hill Baptist Church: 931 E Preston St
      • Thursday 9:30am: Fallstaff Elementary/Middle School: 3801 Fallstaff Rd
      • Thursday 10am: Green Street Academy: 125 N Hilton St 
      • Thursday 10am: Victorious Ministries: 4609 York Rd
      • Thursday 11:30am: Monarch Academy: 2525 Kirk Ave 
      • Thursday 12pm: Arch Social Club: 2426 Pennsylvania Ave
      • Friday 12pm: Charm City Land Trust: 2424 McElderry Ave
    • Produce Boxes 
      • Tuesday 10am, Wednesday 10am: Franciscan Center: 101 W 23rd St
      • Tuesday 10am: Arlington Elementary School: 3705 W Rogers Ave 
      • Tuesday 10am: John Ruhrah Elementary School: 701 Rappolla St 
      • Tuesday 10am: Maree G Farring Elementary/Middle School: 300 Pontiac Ave
      • Tuesday 10am: Belair Edison School: 3536 Brehms Ln 
      • Tuesday 10am: Dunbar High School: 1400 Orleans St
      • Tuesday 10am: Lakeland Elementary/Middle School: 2921 Stranden Rd
      • Tuesday 10am: Vivien T Thomas Medical Arts Academy: 100 N Calhoun
      • Tuesday 10am: Leith Walk Elementary/Middle School: 5915 Glennor Rd
      • Tuesday 12pm: Bnos Yisroel: 6300 Park Heights Ave
      • Tuesday 12pm: Park Heights Renaissance: 3939 Reisterstown Rd 
      • Tuesday 5pm: LIFE Church Ministries: 3820 S Hanover St
      • Wednesday 3pm: HARBEL Community Organization: 5807 Harford Rd
      • Thursday 8am: Zion Hill Baptist Church: 931 E Preston St
      • Thursday 9am: City of Refuge: 901 Pontiac Ave
      • Thursday 9:30: Fallstaff Elementary/Middle School: 3801 Fallstaff Rd
      • Thursday 10am: Green Street Academy 125 N Hilton St
      • Thursday 10am: Victorious Ministries: 4609 York Rd
      • Thursday 10:30am: Stillmeadow Community Fellowship: 5110 Frederick Ave
      • Thursday 11am: The Food Project: 424 S Pulaski 
      • Thursday 11:30am: Monarch Academy: 2525 Kirk Ave
      • Thursday 12pm: Italian Cultural Center: 315 Homeland Southway
      • Thursday 12pm: Collington Square Rec Center: 1409 N Patterson Park Ave
      • Thursday 12pm: Greenmount Rec Center: 2304 Greenmount Ave
      • Thursday 12pm: Northwood Rec Center: 1517 Winford Rd 
      • Thursday 12pm: Crispus Attucks Rec Center: 1601 W Madison St
      • Thursday 12pm: Samuel FB Morse Rec Center: 424 S Pulaski St
      • Thursday 12pm: Virginia Baker Rec Center: 2601 E Baltimore St
      • Thursday 12pm: Bentalou Rec Center: 222 N Bentalou St
      • Thursday 12pm: Harlem Park Rec Center: 700 N Calhoun St 
      • Thursday 12pm: CC Jackson Rec Center: 4910 Park Heights Ave 
      • Saturday 10am: Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church: 4605 Belair Rd
      • Saturday 10:30am: Greater Paradise Christian Center: 2900 E Oliver St
      • Saturday 11am: Haven City Church: 1706 Eastern Ave
      • Saturday 12pm: Arch Social Club: 2426 Pennsylvania Ave 


  • Civic Works Elder Services: $5 produce & hygiene delivery to seniors 55+ 


    • Must call 410- 826-5955 Mondays 9:00am- 4:00pm for intake




  • For additional support in locating and accessing local food resources call 211 

Resources for Childcare

  • Recovery Plan, Approved Operating Childcare Sites, and Evolving Updates can be found here 
  • Free pre-Kindergarten programs are available for Baltimore City families who income-qualify or who are considered at risk of homelessness, find more information here or call 410-767-7798


  • For additional support in locating and  accessing local child care resources call 211 


Housing Resources

  • BGE 
    • Suspending all service disconnections and waiving any new late fees through Sept 1
    • Working with any households whose service has been disconnected to reconnect services, call BGE Customer Care: 800-685-0123 to get started
    • Apply for Energy Assistance


  • For additional support in locating and accessing local housing  resources call 211 



Legal Services

  • A consolidated list of Legal Service Providers specializing in eviction prevention can be found here 
  • Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service: Intake Hotline (410) 547-6537 or 800-510-0050 or apply online. Can provide assistance with some cases related to child support, criminal defense, family law, immigration, housing vouchers, juvenile court, and SSI & SSDI applications. You should have the following information ready:
    • Income information for all members of your household
    • The value of your house, if you own one
    • The value of your car, if you have one
    • How much you have in any checking, savings, or investment accounts
  • Maryland Legal Aid: Help with civil legal matters, Telephone Intake: (410) 951-7750 or Toll Free: (866) 635-2948 Mon, Thurs, & Fri: 09:30 AM – 04:00 PM, Tues: 09:30 AM – 07:00 PM, Wed: 09:30 AM – 01:00 PM or apply online 


  • For additional support in locating and accessing local legal resources call 211 




Additional Resources:

Baltimore Mutual Aid Spreadsheet and Baltimore Restaurant Relief Facebook Group