Employer and Worker Assistance
- The Centers for Disease Control has issued guidance for businesses and employees.
- The U.S. Department of Labor has developed some guidelines for how companies can prepare their workplace for COVID-19 (English guide, Spanish guide). In addition, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has launched a COVID-19 website with information specifically for workers and employers, and advice on how to prevent spread in the workplace. There is also information on issues relating to wages and hours worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
- The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) allows small and midsize employers to claim refundable tax credits that reimburse them for the cost of providing paid sick and family leave to their employees due to COVID-19, including leave taken to receive or recover from COVID-19 vaccinations.
- The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) is a federal law that provided some paid sick leave and paid family leave. The FFCRA’s paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave requirements expired on Dec. 31, 2020. New guidance, in the form of Frequently Asked Questions on the WHD website, addresses whether workers who did not use their leave entitlement under the FFCRA in 2020 may use such leave after Dec. 31, 2020. It also explains how WHD will maintain its enforcement authority over employers’ leave responsibilities while the FFCRA’s paid leave requirements were in effect, even after these leave entitlements have expired. Additionally, the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA), 2021, extended employer tax credits for paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave voluntarily provided to employees until March 31, 2021. However, the CAA did not extend employees’ entitlement to FFCRA leave beyond Dec. 31, 2020, meaning employers will no longer be legally required to provide such leave.
The Maryland Department of Labor’s Division of Labor and Industry enforces the Maryland Health Working Families Act, also known as Sick and Safe Leave, which may be useful for employees who need to take off from work due to COVID-19. Learn more about the Maryland Health Working Families Act here, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- To submit an application for unemployment insurance benefits, please visit the BEACON 2.0 claimant portal located at beacon.labor.maryland.gov. To learn about the several federal and state unemployment insurance programs that are available for Marylanders during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit the Maryland Department of Labor’s website at MDunemployment.com.
- Labor’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.
- Labor’s Office of Small Business Regulatory Assistance is available to help Maryland business owners find timely and effective solutions to issues, so they can go about running their companies. They can be contacted by emailing email@example.com.
- The Maryland Insurance Administration has shared insight into Business Interruption Insurance on their website. MIA has also put together an FAQ addressing insurance-related questions about coronavirus.
- 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.
During these uncertain times, as businesses transition to remote work and make changes to technology, we are more vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks than ever before. To assist, CAMI is providing an incident hotline for businesses.