COVID-19

Employer and Worker Assistance

 

Local:

 
Garrett County Government:  Governor Larry Hogan’s Executive Order includes a Stay at Home Directive that went into effect at 8 P.M. March 30, 2020. With this order, only essential businesses are permitted to remain open in the state, and Governor Hogan asked those businesses to limit staff interaction with customers and use telework for as many employees as practical.

Sample Authorization Letter for Essential Employees:  In order to provide resources to our businesses, Garrett County is providing a sample “authorization letter” for those businesses that are considered “essential”. The letter is not considered legal advice and each organization should independently determine whether the business being conducted is an “essential” business under the Federal and State Guidelines. To obtain a template of the employee “authorization letter” or to discuss details, please contact Kim Durst at kdurst@garrettcounty.org or 301-334-1992.
 
Garrett County Chamber of Commerce:  The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce has hosted special webinars on COVID-19. The webinars and presentations are available on the Chamber's COVID-19 resource page.
 

Federal:

 
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has established Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers. The CDC will update the guidance as additional information becomes available.
 
Congressman David Trone's Office - Maryland's Sixth Congressional District:  Congressman Trone's Office has released a Community Resource Guide for businesses and residents in Maryland's Sixth Congressional District.  The guide contains resources for busineses and workers, resources for travelers, and resources for Veterans. It also includes lists of resources for each individual county.
 
Congressman Trone is also hosting a series of webinars about COVID-19 and the resources available to businesses. Those webinar links can be accessed here.
 
Occupational  Safety and Health Administration (OSHA):  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has launched a COVID-19 web page to provide information for workers and employers.
 
U.S. Department of Labor:  The U.S. Department of Labor has issued Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, which provides recommendations for businesses preparing their workplaces for COVID-19. 

The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division has provided information on common issues employers and employees face when responding to an emergency and their effects on wages and hours worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act and Family and Medical Leave Act.

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced new action regarding how American workers and employers will benefit from the protections and relief offered by the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, both part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The department’s Wage and Hour Division  posted a temporary rule issuing regulations pursuant to this new law, effective April 1, 2020.

A recorded webinar will be posted on Friday, April 3, 2020, to provide interested parties a more in-depth description and help them learn more about the FFCRA. To view the webinar visit www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic.
 
U.S. Department of Transportation:  The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued a National Emergency Declaration to provide hours-of-service regulatory relief to commercial vehicle drivers transporting emergency relief in response to COVID-19.
 
U.S. Small Business Administration:  The SBA is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of COVID-19. Governor Hogan has submitted an application for the State of Maryland, and that application is currently pending.  

The SBA has created a web page providing small business guidance and loan resources, as well as a web page dedicated to disaster loan assistance.
 

State:

 
Maryland Department of Commerce:  The Maryland Department of Commerce is available to answer your questions. Email inquiries should be directed to secretary.commerce@maryland.gov. A team of Commerce in Baltimore are handling the inquiries through this email address. Additionally, the Maryland Business Express website has a new COVID-19 web page to assistance business. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Maryland Business Planning and Responding to COVID-19 are also available.
 
Maryland Department of Health:  The Maryland Department of Health has up-do-date information relating to COVID-19.
 
Maryland Department of Labor:  The Maryland Department of Labor’s Division of Labor and Industry, which is responsible for the enforcement of the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act, also known as Safe and Sick Leave, provides useful information on its website for employees who need to take off from work due to COVID-19. To learn more about the law. Additional information can be obtained by emailing ssl.assstance@maryland.gov.

If your business is forced to temporarily or permanently layoff employees as a result of Governor Hogan's COVID-19 mandates, the Department's Division of Unemployment Insurance, through its Bulk Claim Services, can open unemployment insurance claims for all affected employees. Affected businesses should contact a Department Claims' Representative by emailing UI.BulkClaim@maryland.gov.
 
Work Sharing is a voluntary Maryland Division of Unemployment Insurance (DUI) program that provides an alternative to layoffs for employers confronted with a sharp, temporary decline in business. The Work Sharing (WS) program allows an employer to cut costs by equally dividing available hours of work among employees. While working reduced hours, the employees will also be eligible to receive partial Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefit payments based on their reduction in weekly work hours.
 
The Department has also created a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) web page about COVID-19 and unemployment benefits. In addition, the Department's An Employment Benefits Guide for the Worker in Transition (pages 4 through 10) will help your with filing for unemployment insurance. They will be considered temporarily laid off with a recall to work date. This will allow them to NOT look for work since they have a return to work date that is 10 weeks or less.
 
The Department's Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning enforces the Rapid Response System, which works collaboratively with the State’s businesses and workers to minimize the impact of economic disruptions caused by layoffs and plant or business operations closing.
 
Maryland Department of Labor - Unemployment Division:  The federal government recently passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which includes an expansion of unemployment insurance benefits for Marylanders. Individuals who are not usually eligible for regular unemployment benefits (the self-employed, an independent contractor, gig worker) and who cannot work due to COVID-19 are eligible for a maximum of 39 weeks of benefits, which includes $600 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation.
 
The Department's BEACON One-Stop system provides an online application for unemployment applicants. New tutorial videos have been made available on the Department's website, social media pages, and YouTube to help Marylanders navigate the new BEACON One-Stop. Click here for links to the videos. A Username & Password Handbook for the new BEACON One-Stop System can be found here.
 
Please contact the Maryland Department of Labor at 1-410-949-0022 or 1-301-777-1221.for further information. Additional information can also be found here:  www.dllr.state.md.us/employment/unemployment.shtml.
 
Maryland Emergency Management Agency:  Maryland Emergency Management Agency has information and resources to assist a business during and following a disaster.
 
Maryland Insurance Administration:  The Maryland Insurance Administration has created a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) web page addressing insurance-related questions as about COVID-19 and is in the process of developing criteria for the possibility of emergency grants for FY 2021.
 
Maryland Legal Aid:  Maryland Legal Aid remains operational and fully committed to serving clients and those in need of civil legal assistance. Vulnerable citizens can access critical civil legal services by applying online or by calling the Western Maryland Office of Legal Aid at (301) 777-7474 or emailing the office at virtualcommunitylawyer@mdlab.org
 
Maryland Office of Legal Council:  The Maryland Office of Legal Council has prepared an Interpretive Guide for businesses affected by Governor Hogan's Executive Orders.  Click on the following link to view Governor Hogan's Executive Orders:  https://governor.maryland.gov/category/executive-orders/.
 
Maryland Office of Small Business Regulatory Assistance (OSBRA):  The Department's Office of Small Business Regulatory Assistance (OSBRA) is available to help Maryland business owners find timely and effective solutions to issues, so they can go about running their companies. Additional information can be obtained by emailing osbra.inquiry@maryland.gov.
 
Maryland Small Business Development Center (SBDC):  The Maryland Small Business Development Center - Western Maryland Regional offices are closed to the public, however, SBDC consultants remain available to assist the business community. If you need assistance, please call (888) 237-9007. Clients can register for consulting here: https://mdsbdc.ecenterdirect.com/signup.
 
The Maryland SBDC also has a Maryland SBDC COVID-19 Small Business Survival Guide and other resources which can help guide your business through this global pandemic on its website.
 
Webinars hosted by the SBDC can be accessed at the following links:
 
• COVID-19 Emergency Relief Funds webinar: slide presentation
• The Counselor Is In Q&A Session #1:  presentation and Q&A.
• The Counselor Is In Q&A #2: presentation and Q&A.
 
Maryland State Arts Council:  The Maryland State Arts Council has issued a State of Emergency Statement and Resources in response to COVID-19.
 

Miscellaneous Organizations:


International Economic Development Council (IEDC):  The International Economic Develoopment Council (IEDC) has summarized Congress's COVID-19 stimulus bill. To access this summary, please click here.

RestoreYourEconomy is your resource for up-to-date information related to COVID-19 and its economic impacts. It is managed by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) with generous support from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and IEDC's Economic Development Research Partners program.

National Restaurant Association:  Guy Fieri and the National Restaurant Association has launched a relief fund to give $500 checks to restaurant workers affected by coronavirus.  Here’s how it works: Restaurant workers can apply for a grant paid for by the NRAEF fund starting Thursday, April 2, 2020, and will receive a one-time $500 check within three weeks to use toward housing, medical bills, student loans, groceries, and other expenses. The NRAEF stipulated that these grants would be administered on a “first-come, first-serve basis.” To apply or to donate visit: https://rerf.us/.