In this Issue: Mental Health Resources, New Employer Profiles, & More
EARN IN ACTION
Bringing Your “A Game” to Workplace Mental Health
Recently, the U.S. Department of Labor and one of its alliance partners, the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS), joined forces to produce a video on mental health awareness in the workplace with professional baseball athletic trainers from several Major League Baseball teams. In the video, athletic trainers from the Pittsburgh Pirates, Minnesota Twins, Detroit Tigers, and Milwaukee Brewers encourage employers to “bring their A game” to workplace mental health using EARN’s “4 A’s of a mental health-friendly workplace”—awareness, accommodations, assistance and access—as a guide. Watch the video.
Merck Mental Health Case Study
A new case study on the EARN website examines multinational pharmaceutical company Merck’s efforts to address mental health in the workplace and replace silence and stigma with acceptance and compassion. These efforts reflect research the company conducted among its workforce that reinforced a need to prioritize mental health. Related initiatives include awareness building activities for employees and supervisors, Mental Health First Aid training, and volunteer ambassadors called “Mind Well Champions.” Read the case study.
Mental Health at Johnson and Johnson
EARN recently added a new employer profile—Johnson and Johnson—to its mental health toolkit. The profile details how the corporation approaches workplace mental health in the context of three pillars: Healthy Eating, Healthy Movement, and Healthy Mind. The latter is brought to life through Johnson and Johnson’s Healthy Mind policy and incorporates an employee assistance program and awareness training for managers and employees about available mental health resources. The company also has a “Mental Health Diplomats” employee resource group. Read the profile.
DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT IN THE NEWS
Labor Day Op-Ed
In a Labor Day op-ed published in the Wichita Eagle, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Jennifer Sheehy paid tribute to the resourcefulness and resilience of America’s workforce. She also shared how the U.S. Department of Labor, through its Retaining Employment and Talent after Injury/Illness Network (RETAIN), is working to ensure people can return to or remain at work after accident or injury. Read the op-ed.
EEOC COVID-19 Technical Assistance Publication Updates
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently updated its technical assistance document, “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Rehabilitation Act, and Other Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Laws.” The updated document adds 18 questions and answers related to COVID-19 and federal EEO laws, as well as modifies two existing questions and answers for clarity. Read the guide.
Solutions Showcase Videos
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) recently added three videos to its “Solutions Showcase” series, which highlights common workplace accommodation solutions for workers with a variety of disabilities. The new topics added include color coding, adjustable workstations, and ergonomic chairs, bringing the total number of videos in the series to 10. Like EARN, JAN is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy. Watch the videos.
September is National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month, which helps bring awareness to the fact that substance use disorders are treatable, and people in recovery can live healthy, productive lives. For many, work plays an important role in continued sobriety. A number of accommodations can help support employees in treatment for or recovery from addiction, and the Job Accommodation Network offers information to help. Learn about accommodations for people with alcoholism or drug addiction.
Q: We heard October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). Is there a way our company can participate?
A: Yes! Observed each October, NDEAM celebrates the contributions of America’s workers with disabilities and educates individuals and employers about the importance of a disability-inclusive workforce. There is a different theme each year. This year’s theme is “Increasing Access and Opportunity.” Employers of all sizes and in all industries are encouraged to take part.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
September 22 and 23, 2020, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET
Twitter Chat: EARN NDEAM Twitter Chat Series
Join EARN as we prepare for National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) with a two-part series of Twitter chats. On Sept. 22, the topic will be increasing employment access and opportunity for young adults with disabilities (use #NDEAMYouth to follow). On Sept. 23, the topic will be mental health in the workplace, with a focus on considerations during COVID-19 (use #NDEAMMentalHealth to follow).
September 22, 2020, 2:00 p.m. ET
Webinar: Working Rare: Employment Considerations for People Living with Rare Diseases
This webinar, sponsored by the National Organization for Rare Disorders and the New England Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Center, will address the workplace rights of people living with rare diseases, resources and accommodations that can help them remain employed and succeed on the job, and how employers can create a supportive environment. Register for the Sept. 22 webinar.
October 21, 2020, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. ET
Summit: NDEAM Virtual Disability Inclusion Summit
During this National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) virtual summit, sponsored by the National Business and Disability Council at the Viscardi Center, participants will explore a variety of strategies for increasing workplace disability inclusion in organizations of all sizes. Topics range from virtual recruiting to mentorship to mental health and wellness. Register for the Oct. 21 summit.
A new employer success story on EARN’s website highlights Comcast Corporation’s commitment to building a workforce that reflects its customers by actively recruiting, hiring, advancing, and retaining people with disabilities. This includes support for its disability-focused employee resource group (ERG), MyAbilities Network@Comcast. To measure the progress of its disability inclusion efforts, Comcast subsidiary NBCUniversal also launched an initiative to encourage employees with disabilities to self-identify.
The Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) is a resource for employers seeking to recruit, hire, retain, and advance qualified employees with disabilities. It is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy under a cooperative agreement with the K. Lisa Yang and Hock E. Tan Institute on Disability and Employment. For more information, visit AskEARN.org.
Preparation of this item was fully funded by the United States Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy in the amount of $8,000,000 (four-year total grant amount) under Cooperative Agreement No. OD-33975-19-75-4-36. This document does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.