COVID-19 Pandemic Resources

As the COVID-19 pandemic wreaks havoc on our families, our lives, our health care system and our economy, we are all grappling with how to respond and support each other. We are deeply moved by the courage and commitment of millions of workers on the front lines of this crisis. We also know how difficult and scary this time is. Workers are suffering mass layoffs, working in unsafe conditions and fear that they or loved ones will be exposed to this virus. Now, more than ever, it is critical that we build solidarity and help our neighbors as we struggle through this difficult time.

Programs we have fought for like paid leave, unemployment insurance, workers' compensation and other income supports will be crucial in helping workers through this uncertain period. At the same time, we must do everything we can to ensure that no one falls through the cracks. We are all in this together.  

Below are some resources for Maine workers who are impacted by the economic impacts of this crisis.

MENU:

  • Laid off, Losing Time, OR Quarantined?
  • Workers' Compensation Information
  • Industry-Specific Resources and Guidance

LAID OFF, LOSING Time, OR QUARANTINED?

Governor Janet Mills signed an emergency bipartisan bill that expands eligibility for unemployment benefits to people who are affected by COVID-19, but have not permanently lost their jobs. The measure, which will be effective for the duration of the Governor’s state emergency declaration, allows workers to be eligible for benefits if they are under a temporary medical quarantine, are staying out of work on uncompensated leave as a result of COVID-19 or have been laid off as a result of the state of emergency and are expected to return to work once the emergency closure is lifted. 

The new law also waives the one-week waiting period and the work search requirement to receive benefits for workers who have been laid off due to the state emergency. Workers who have to take a temporary leave of absence due to a social isolation requirement, a medical quarantine or need to care for a family member as a result of COVID-19 will not be disqualified from receiving UI benefits under the new law. After the initial week that you file a claim, you must continue to file on a weekly basis.

If you have questions or need help with Unemployment call Chris Greenleaf of the Maine AFL-CIO at 207-671-7933 or chris at maineaflcio dot com. 

Reminder:  When you file your weekly UI claim you will be asked if you are looking for work. You should say "YES".  Then in the comment section you should write "COVID-19".  If you do this you will have filed your claim correctly and you will not get an error message. 

Workers' Compensation Information

Please read the Maine Department of Labor's Frequently Asked Questions Relating to COVID-19 and workers' comp.

Industry-Specific Resources and Guidance

The AFL-CIO is collecting and sharing industry-specific COVID-19 guidance and resources from its affiliated international unions. It also has the most up-to-date materials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the World Health Organization, research experts and others. Learn more here.