Employee Assistance

Whether working remotely or on campus, employees might be facing challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Supervisors/department heads are asked to make every effort to be flexible in accommodating the needs of their employees. Supportive measures, resources, and leave options may include the following:

  • Frequent well-being check-ins
  • Temporary modified work schedules
  • Consideration of on-campus childcare (Y Preschool)

If employees test positive for COVID-19 or have reason to self isolate, they may be eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Leave. Please contact HR for more details.

Employees With High-Risk Conditions

Some individuals may be concerned about returning to their assigned worksite. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified certain conditions that may put individuals at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. When considering possible work options for high-risk employees, supervisors and department heads should:

  • Be Flexible – Offer flexible options such as telework to employees. This will eliminate the need for employees to travel to or from higher transmission areas in order to get to work.
  • Offer Alternate Duties – Whenever possible, consider offering vulnerable employees duties that minimize their contact with others.
  • Refer Employees to Available Leave Options.
  • Advise Employees to Contact UMBC’s Human Resources Team to Discuss Eligibility for Reasonable Accommodations – Certain high-risk employees may be eligible for reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Human Resources is available to discuss COVID-19 health condition-related eligibility for reasonable accommodations. Determination and implementation of employee accommodations due to a disabling condition will be coordinated in conjunction with HR and the University’s ADA Coordinator. We also encourage you to review UMBC’s employee accommodation process.

Employee Assistance Program

UMBC regular and contingent II employees and members of their households have access to the USM Employee Assistance Program (EAP) services at no charge. Program services include:

  • Free Confidential Counseling
  • Work-Life Solutions
  • Legal Support
  • Financial Information

Behavioral Risk

The Behavioral Risk Assessment and Consultation Team assists faculty, staff, and students in addressing situations where a person is displaying concerning behavior. The team is designed to provide information, recommendations, and referrals.


Some employees returning to on-campus work may be working parents and guardians facing childcare concerns and challenges. Supervisors/department heads must make every effort to be supportive and as reasonably flexible as possible in accommodating the needs of these employees. Supportive measures may include the following:

Regardless of the approach, supervisors/department heads are asked to ensure the lines of communication are always open and consistent.

Caregiver Resources

Our community remains committed to working together to address work-life balance challenges, including for employees who have caregiving responsibilities. Supervisors/department heads should ensure that everyone in your department/area is aware of these institutional resources:

Food, Shelter & Utility Assistance

Retriever Essentials items will be available at the Campus Police Station and True Grit’s for immediate relief. The following resources are available locally in the event you or someone you know needs assistance related to food and housing access. You can search for your nearest food pantry, call 211, or visit one of the following:

Shelters are also available to those who need them. Please note that there are certain stipulations involved while staying in a shelter. Usually it means you are given a bed, you are supposed to store your belongings underneath the bed, etc. Prior to arrival, please check with the shelter staff for additional information.

Utility Bill Payment Help: If you are struggling to pay your utility bill, there is help available.

  • Check out a video on how to keep your power on even when you are facing high utility bills.
  • All utilities are offering 12 month payment plans with no down payment required. Contact your utility for more information.
  • The Office of People’s Counsel has created an energy assistance toolkit to help Maryland households facing utility turn-off notices. This toolkit includes videos on how to fill out the Office of Home Energy Programs application, forms, and resource guides.
  • Lifeline is a federal program that helps limited income consumers pay for their telephone and internet services by providing a monthly discount. The cost of the program is shared by all telephone customers. In Maryland the program is called Tel-Life.  Visit the website to review program eligibility and services.

For more resources, visit our website.

Funeral Assistance

Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, FEMA will provide financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020.