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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.

Use the School District COVID-19 Tracker to understand pandemic patterns

Use the School District COVID-19 Tracker as an interactive mapping tool to understand the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on New York State.
screenshot illustrating the mapping features of the tracker

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.

September 2020 Job Disruptions Update: Dimmer Prospects for a Speedy Rebound

In September, COVID-19 was still disrupting the jobs of over 12 million workers—about 7 percent of the pre-COVID-19 labor force. Prospects for a speedy recovery have dimmed as fewer jobless workers are on temporary layoff and more are permanently laid off and have left the workforce altogether.
A magnifying glass is held over the word jobs in a newspaper.

Employee Voting in the Era of COVID-19

Employers and employees must work together to ensure employee voting rights are secured.
"I voted today" stickers

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

COVID-19 Tracking Tool Offered to Public

Demographics, poverty rates and other variables within the boundaries of each NYS school district are offered alongside COVID-19 data.
screenshot illustrating the mapping features of the tracker

September 2020 Job Disruptions Update: Dimmer Prospects for a Speedy Rebound

In September, COVID-19 was still disrupting the jobs of over 12 million workers—about 7 percent of the pre-COVID-19 labor force. Prospects for a speedy recovery have dimmed as fewer jobless workers are on temporary layoff and more are permanently laid off and have left the workforce altogether.
A magnifying glass is held over the word jobs in a newspaper.

How Job Losses During the COVID-19 Recession Compare to Past Recessions

The onset of the COVID-19 Recession was deeper and more abrupt than any post-WWII recession. After four months of recovery, jobs are still down by almost eight percent since February and the pace is slowing.
COVID-19 Payroll Job Losses chart

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.

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

Working with a Disability during COVID-19: Providing Additional Accommodations

During the pandemic, both employers and employees may need to be more creative and flexible as they work together to respond to requests for altered or additional accommodations.
Illustration of a man working at a desk

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

Use the School District COVID-19 Tracker to understand pandemic patterns

Use the School District COVID-19 Tracker as an interactive mapping tool to understand the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on New York State.
screenshot illustrating the mapping features of the tracker

An Alternative to Mass Unemployment: Short-time Programs

Short-time compensation is a relatively low-cost program that already exists in many states to prevent or at least slow mass unemployment. With some reforms, it could protect many more U.S. jobs.
Young woman working on a laptop, sitting on a window sill.

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

Interview: Alex Colvin speaks with Bob Hoyt about the pandemic and the financial sector

Alex Colvin speaks with Bob Hoyt of Barclays (soon to join HSBC) about the effects of the pandemic on financial-services and banking firms.
Portrait of Bob Hoyt

Interview: Alex Colvin speaks with Eugene Schneur about the pandemic and property development

ILR's Alex Colvin spoke with Eugene Schneur about the impacts the pandemic has had on property development and management – especially in the area of affordable housing.
Portrait of Eugene Schneur

Interview: Diane Burton speaks with Leigh Amaro about the impact of the Pandemic

ILR's Diane Burton spoke with Leigh Amaro about the impact the pandemic has had on the payment industry.
Portrait of Leigh Amaro

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

Can Employers Require the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Employers may want to require a vaccine in the workplace to maintain employee health, but there are many restrictions in doing so.
woman receiving a vaccination shot in the upper arm

What Rights do Essential Workers have in NYS and NYC?

The pandemic has highlighted the significance of essential workers and offers opportunities to improve their working conditions. ILR senior Mika Forman-Yossifov discussed New York state and city legislation being introduced to protect essential workers’ labor rights.
worker-sterile-white-uniform-with-mask-glasses-holding-sprayer-with-disinfectant-spraying-around-hallway-school-prevention-spreading-corona-virus

Best Practices for Virtual Onboarding Experiences

A qualitative study conducted by alumna Ayesha Ejaz, MILR ’20, with employees and hiring managers which provides insight into challenges of virtual onboarding across industries during COVID-19, followed by some recommendations to make it a better experience for future employees.
person boarding a train

Wellness Apps: A COVID Trend or the Future?

COVID-19 has caused a surge in app usage especially in the wellness space, will this be our “new normal” and if so how should companies adapt to this trend?
woman getting ready to do yoga at home with online application

Enhancing Workplace Communication during the Pandemic and Beyond

Establishing an empathetic attitude and prioritizing feedback will help foster honest conversations between employees and management, which will help mitigate the negative impacts of remote work on communication.
Woman working from home showing frustration

Employee Voting in the Era of COVID-19

Employers and employees must work together to ensure employee voting rights are secured.
"I voted today" stickers

The Impact of COVID-19 on Labor and Employment Law

The NLRB has allowed exempted the duty to bargain in the past in response to emergency situations like the pandemic. ILR Senior, Katherine Heaney helps navigate the complexities of wage adjustments available under the law.
A clock and a roll of hundred dollar bills sit at opposite ends of a scale.

An Opportunity for Diversity and Inclusion Efforts During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Two ILR students propose a road map for real change in diversity and inclusion practices in this time of crisis.
Five people hold puzzle pieces, each of a different color, over their heads.

National COVID-19-Related Racial Inequality and The Workplace

The COVID-19 crisis continues to disproportionately impact minorities in the workplace.
Young couple fo color working together on a laptop at home.

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

ILR in the News on COVID-19

See more media coverage of ILR expertise

COVID-19 tracker: developer explains tool

wicz.com news FOX 40
Information about cases offered alongside information about populations within school district boundaries.

Indoor dining in the winter: How safe is it?

Local Syracuse News ABC-9
Restauranteurs could consider leaving windows open as an added COVID-19 safety precaution, Nellie Brown says.

'Recession economy' hitting minorities harder than general population

News - Talk - WHCU Radio - 97.7 FM and 870 AM
Employment inequalities have worsened during the pandemic, according to Russell Weaver.

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