Baltimore City

Baltimore offering $1,000 incentive to vaccinated city employees

Baltimore will offer its city employees $1,000 to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, city officials announced Tuesday.

The program, which will be open to all of the city’s 14,000 employees, will use funding from Baltimore’s $641 million allocation from the American Rescue Plan. If all of the city’s employees were to get vaccinated, the incentive would cost the city $14 million.


Employees must be fully vaccinated by Jan. 14 to qualify, according to a news release from city officials. The incentive is available to employees regardless of whether they are working remotely or in-person.

“This incentive is about doing everything in our power to protect our employees and our residents,” Mayor Brandon Scott said in the news release. “I want to thank all of our employees who have already uploaded their vaccination status, and to all of our workers who haven’t received their vaccine yet, now is the best time to do so.”


City employees in Baltimore already are required to get vaccinated or face regular coronavirus testing based on a mandate that went into place in mid-October. Since then, nearly 74% of city employees have submitted their vaccination status, according to data available Tuesday.

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The city’s vaccination policy states that employees can be barred from their work sites if they do not submit their status and fail to get tested. However, the city has not yet levied penalties on employees for failing to comply. More than a dozen testing sites have been set up around the city for access by city employees.

Scott’s news release Tuesday reiterated previous statements that employees who do not upload their vaccination status and do not comply with the city’s weekly testing option will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.

Baltimore will join neighboring jurisdictions including Anne Arundel and Frederick counties that have already begun to offer financial incentives to their employees to get vaccinated. Anne Arundel County offered a one-time payment of $1,000 while Frederick County offered a $1,000 payment to full-time employees and $500 to part-time employees, paid for using American Rescue Plan funding.

In May, Maryland offered $100 to state employees who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Baltimore rolled out its vaccination mandate as part of a tiered return to work for city employees. The first phase of public-facing employees returned to City Hall and other city office buildings in August, and a second phase followed in mid-October.

The city plans to restore full access to in-person services by January, though meetings of the City Council and the Board of Estimates will still be online-only. Stefanie Mavronis, spokeswoman for Scott, said plans are being developed to hold hybrid meetings of public bodies beginning sometime next year.

Baltimore so far has allocated a little more than half of the $641 million the city received as part of the American Rescue Plan.