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Work and the Coronavirus

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How COVID-19 affects work, labor and employment.

We aim to help make sense of how the coronavirus pandemic changes the workplace – from employment and legal policy, to labor relations and HR policies and practices. We will continue to share data, analysis, research and insight from our faculty and experts.

How COVID-19’s Job Disruptions Vary by Gender, Race and Hispanic Ethnicity in August 2020

Women, African American and Hispanic workers are faring markedly worse than men and white workers.
A group of seven people stand in front of floor to ceiling windows with blue skies beyond.

July and August 2020 Job Disruptions Update: Improvement Slowing

In August, COVID-19 was still disrupting the jobs of over 18 million workers—about 11 percent of the pre-COVID-19 labor force.
A magnifying glass is held over the word jobs in a newspaper.

Cancer, COVID-19 and Return to Work

Employers should expand accommodations policies to include people living with immunocompromised individuals, says an ILR student.
A man seated at a table in a room with windows, working on a laptop.

Reopening the NYC Film and TV Industry

Labor and management leaders in the industry have issued a set of safety protocols so that production can safely resume during the pandemic.
Video camera

HBR – Working from Home While Black

Laura Morgan Roberts and ILR Assistant Professor Courtney L. McCluney wrote a piece for HBR that explores and provides practical steps coworkers and managers can take to support Black employees working from home.
a laptop with a browser window open showing the HBR article

August 7 Job Report: Tips on What to Consider

Erica Groshen provides insight on some of the most significant numbers in the upcoming national employment report recapping July job numbers.
photo of a laptop showing a plot chart to illustrate statistics and reports

July and August 2020 Job Disruptions Update: Improvement Slowing

In August, COVID-19 was still disrupting the jobs of over 18 million workers—about 11 percent of the pre-COVID-19 labor force.
A magnifying glass is held over the word jobs in a newspaper.

Cancer, COVID-19 and Return to Work

Employers should expand accommodations policies to include people living with immunocompromised individuals, says an ILR student.
A man seated at a table in a room with windows, working on a laptop.

Reemployment Prospects Vary by Gender, Race and Hispanic Ethnicity

Most workers whose jobs have been disrupted maintain a tie to their employers.
Five people wearing masks stand in a line facing the camera.

Returning to Work and Unemployment Benefits

Madison Meltz discusses the relationships between the choice to return to work and unemployment benefits.
Two restaurant employees working in a kitchen

The Impact of Phase-4 Reopening in New York State on Workers

Hunter Moskowitz outlines some of the key aspects of New York State phase-four reopening as it impacts workers.
sign in a window saying: "open"

How Did COVID-19’s Job Disruptions Vary by Gender, Race and Hispanic Ethnicity in May 2020?

White male workers fared better than female, African American, Asian and Hispanic workers according to national job numbers for May, says ILR economist Erica Groshen.
Sign on store door stating that they are closed but pickups can be scheduled.

Reopening the NYC Film and TV Industry

Labor and management leaders in the industry have issued a set of safety protocols so that production can safely resume during the pandemic.
Video camera

HBR – How U.S. Companies Can Support Employees of Color Through the Pandemic

HBR's published a piece that outlines practical and strategic work that companies can do to support their employees of color through the pandemic.
laptop with screenshot of HBR article

HBR – Working from Home While Black

Laura Morgan Roberts and ILR Assistant Professor Courtney L. McCluney wrote a piece for HBR that explores and provides practical steps coworkers and managers can take to support Black employees working from home.
a laptop with a browser window open showing the HBR article

Reopened and Safety Compliant, Now What?: ADA Employment and Accessibility Issues

Esta Bigler of ILR's Labor and Employment Law Program hosts a panel discussion covering reopening and in a new world of ADA, accessibility, and employment best practices.
a person wearing a mask moving boxes on a handtruck to illustrate reopening and ppe

Reopening in NYC: Understanding the Impact of Phase 3

Madison Meltz offers a discussion of the business landscape changes in Phase 3 of reopening in NYC.
City Street in NYC

Conducting Investigations while Social Distancing

ILR experts in investigations outline practical considerations for conducting investigations while social distancing.
a desk with a laptop to illustrate the idea of working remotely

How COVID-19’s Job Disruptions Vary by Gender, Race and Hispanic Ethnicity in August 2020

Women, African American and Hispanic workers are faring markedly worse than men and white workers.
A group of seven people stand in front of floor to ceiling windows with blue skies beyond.

August 7 Job Report: Tips on What to Consider

Erica Groshen provides insight on some of the most significant numbers in the upcoming national employment report recapping July job numbers.
photo of a laptop showing a plot chart to illustrate statistics and reports

Digital Currency Plan Would Provide Rapid Payments to Recipients In and Beyond the Pandemic

This piece hosts discussions about digital currency in light of the pandemic through work by Cornell Professor Robert Hockett.
diagram of digital currency

Opinion – All Undocumented Immigrants Deserve Citizenship – Not Just Essential Workers

Shannon Gleeson outlines the situation faced by undocumented workers, and discusses potential futures for them including pathways to citizenship and their relationship.
man wearing a mask and high-vis vest riding a delivery bike

What’s the Connection between COVID-19 and Climate Change? Inequality

The triple crises of COVID-19, climate change and soaring inequality present a moment of great peril and opportunity for the U.S.
sign on a post saying: "one world" over a graphic of the globe to illustrate unity and the planet

Job Market Conditions Remain Dire

In June, COVID-19 was still disrupting the jobs of over 24 million workers comprising about 15 percent of the labor force in February.
chart showing breakdown of covid-19 disruptions

Onboarding Challenging During COVID-19

Remote onboarding leaves many new hires feeling unsupported by supervisors, distracted by the challenges of managing teams shifted to working from home due to the pandemic.
Frustrated young woman working at home. She is holding her glasses and is leaning her head on her hand.

Remote Work: Not a New Trend

The shift to increased work from home is accelerating existing use of people analytics and other tools, including organizational network analysis, which maps informal and formal workplace relationships.
Illustrated graphic of people looking at a large screen containing data.

Should I Trust You?

Remote work weakens trust among co-workers, but efficiency and financial performance improve when team members support each other’s projects.
An open laptop showing a zoom meeting window with multiple participants

Online Events and Webinars

See all Online Events and Webinars

Webinar Palmer v. Amazon: A Case Study In A Pandemic

Esta Bigler hosts a panel discussing the safety and health (and employment law) impacts of the federal lawsuit brought by workers and their family members against Amazon.
an empty cardboard box

Webinar: Fair and Safe Return to Work: Protecting Workers and Communities during Reopening

This webinar will examine the issues that workers and communities are facing as New York City undergoes phase 4 of the reopening of its economy.
person wearing a mask working behind a bar at a restaurant

Video: Employer Liability Protection, Workers Compensation, and a National Fund

Esta Bigler hosts a webinar discussion with labor-law experts that explores state and national approaches to employer liability and funding for employment benefits.
screenshot showing the panelists discussing via videoconferencing

Video: Reopening During Covid and Older Workers

Esta Bigler hosted a webinar discussion with labor-law experts on the ramifications of reopening on older workers, and where the ADA relates to reopening.
screenshot showing the panelists discussing over videoconferencing software

Webinar: ADA Employment and Accessibility Issues Impacted by COVID-19 Reopening Safety Measures

This free CLE webinar addresses issues that arise from the increased safety measures in reopening workspaces and their impact on workers who may face challenges.
Woman sitting at a desk and adjusting her face mask.

Work, Workers, and Public Policy During a Pandemic

Recorded June 8 - Former Acting U.S. Secretary of Labor Seth Harris discusses the pandemic-related public policy issues affecting workers, labor markets, and workplaces.
Seth Harris

ILR in the News on COVID-19

See more media coverage of ILR expertise

The Fed Has a Credibility Issue on Inflation

Bloomberg News
Erica Groshen explains in this Bloomberg podcast episode the recent wave of corporate layoffs.

Inside CNY's job disaster: What industries fell off a cliff?

Syracuse Post Standard News
Russell Weaver of ILR’s Buffalo Co-Lab explains what helped manufacturing and construction jobs remain stable during the pandemic.

Locked out of the economy: Unemployed workers face mounting fiscal, emotional stress

witf news
The coronavirus has triggered a steep recession and economists like Erica Groshen are predicting a protracted turnaround, with the potential for a series of economic peaks and valleys.