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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.

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

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

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

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.

Maintaining Employee Fiscal Welfare When Returning to Work

As restrictions ease and businesses reopen, balancing employee financial security with business goals becomes critical.
Plant growing in pot filled with coins

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.

Will the True Unemployment Rate Please Stand Up?

The numbers are solid, Erica Groshen says in response to speculation that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics might have manipulated data.
Someone stacking scrable pieces into a pyramid - they all show question marks

Five Tips for Startups and Small Businesses Returning to Work

Nate Cook, Entrepreneur in Residence, Lecturer for the Cornell SC Johnson School offers 5 tips for small businesses returning to work.
cup with coffee being poured into it to illustrate the idea of getting back to work

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

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

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

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

Maintaining Employee Fiscal Welfare When Returning to Work

As restrictions ease and businesses reopen, balancing employee financial security with business goals becomes critical.
Plant growing in pot filled with coins

Disabilities, Face Masks, and the ADA

YTI's Ellice Switzer and Wendy Strobel Gower discuss the relationship of the ADA with pandemic face mask requirements.
someone wearing a mask while working at a computer monitor

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

Reopening Schools Will Take Community Collaboration

When tensions start to rise over school reopening details, communities can rally around anthems reminding them to negotiate in ways that will benefit children.
A young boy is wearing a medical mask talking with friends at school.

Online Events and Webinars

See all Online Events and Webinars

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: 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

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

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

Webinar: Getting Back to School: Collaborative Strategies for Reopening K–12 Public Scools in a Fiscal Crisis

Educators now face the challenge of planning to safely restart the school year this fall, in an environment in which state and local resources may be severely cut, and federal guidelines and resources are uncertain.
An open book setting on a desk with a chalkboard showing math illustrations in the background.

ILR in the News on COVID-19

See more media coverage of ILR expertise

There Are Other Options Besides Reopening Schools

The Atlantic
Psychological hardships are being created by the pandemic’s financial toll, says Professor Francine Blau.

Little known unemployment program is helping businesses avoid layoffs

WCNY
New York state’s shared work system is explained by Worker Institute Labor and Policy Research Director Maria Figueroa.

New Report Shows How COVID-19 Could Impact Tech in Healthcare

HealthIT Answers
Workers face more strain as cost-cutting technological changes accelerate in health care, says Associate Professor Adam Seth Litwin.