AskEARN | COVID-19 Workplace Resources and Tools Skip to main content

COVID-19 Workplace Resources and Tools

Understand the intersection between the COVID-19 pandemic and disability policy and practices. 

The COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented changes and challenges to the American workplace, for employers and employees alike. The resources below can help employers protect the health and safety of their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as during the recovery. Using these resources, employers can better understand the intersection between the pandemic and disability policies and practices for creating inclusive workplaces.

EARN COVID-19 Resources

EARN Publications

Conversations with Employers: Focus Group Summaries

EARN conducted a series of focus groups in the fall of 2021 with employer members of the National Industry Liaison Group (NILG) to better understand how the shift to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic impacted various workplace practices, and the implications for job candidates and employees with disabilities.

Employer Case Studies about COVID-19 Response 

  • CVS Health: Highlights the company’s efforts to support current employees and onboard new staff to meet increased workforce needs.
  • EY: Describes the company’s commitment to supporting employee mental health and ensuring a disability-inclusive response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Merck: Explains how having existing mental health and wellbeing programs in place has proven beneficial in responding to employees’ needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • PepsiCo Video Case Studies: This video series highlights PepsiCo's work in creating an inclusive workplace, including addressing public safety and mental health challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) Video Case Study: this video explores the role OSHA played in helping employers keep American workplaces safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Webinars

  • Getting Ahead of the Curve: Ensuring Safe, Healthy and Inclusive Workplaces During the COVID-19 Recovery (April 30, 2021): Representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) discuss ways employers can ensure safe and healthy workplaces for all workers, including those with disabilities, during the COVID-19 recovery.
  • The ADA at Work: Considerations for COVID-19 (April 1, 2020): Features a discussion about balancing guidance on COVID-19 containment from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidance on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

COVID-19, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), & Other Laws & Regulations

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Resources: The EEOC offers information and guidance on disability employment related topics and COVID-19. These resources relate to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination and Employment Act and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. In addition, it has information on confidentiality of medical information, disability-related inquiries and medical exams, hiring and onboarding, reasonable accommodation, return to the workplace and vaccinations.

Job Accommodation Network Resources: The U.S. Department of Labor-funded Job Accommodation Network’s (JAN) COVID-19 webpage offers compliance assistance and practical job accommodation strategies for returning individuals with disabilities to work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Other JAN resources include:

Telework as an Accommodation

Job Accommodation Network (JAN) Resources on Telework:

Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology Resources on Telework: The U.S. Department of Labor-funded Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) offers resources on telework and technological accessibility.

Supporting Employee Mental Health During COVID-19

  • EARN’s Mental Health Toolkit: Offers resources that can help employers learn more about mental health issues and cultivate a welcoming and supportive work environment for employees who may be facing mental health issues, during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
  • Job Accommodation Network (JAN) Coronavirus (COVID-19), Stress, and Mental Health Conditions: A blog post that recognizes that temporary accommodations may help all employees who are feeling increased stress and facing personal difficulties at this time. The blog provides information on the ADA and the coronavirus as well as accommodation compliance.
  • U.S. Department of Labor COVID-19 Quick Employment Tips: Mental Health: This 30-second video discusses supporting workers’ mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Workplace Health & Safety

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Provides guidance to employers and others about people who may be at increased risk of COVID-19, including those with certain health conditions. It also suggests precautions and workplace safety during the pandemic.

  • Workplace safety and returning to work: Information for businesses about workplace safety and returning to work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Vaccinations Webpage: Offers a tool that provides information about when an individual might be eligible for the vaccine in a particular state and provides the demographic breakdowns for each phase.
  • Information about people at higher risk for COVID-19: As workplaces consider a gradual scale up of activities towards pre-COVID-19 operating practices, it is important to keep in mind that some workers are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • CDC accessible COVID-19 resources: These resources were developed by the COVID-19 Accessible Materials and Culturally Relevant Messages for Individuals with Disabilities Project, led by Georgia Tech’s Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation. They include COVID-19 information in Braille, American Sign Language (ASL), simplified text, and other alternative formats.
    • Easy-to-Read COVID-19 Safety Resources: A series of easy-to-read materials that explain what COVID-19 is, how to prevent illness, how testing works, what to do if someone has COVID-19, and how to protect those in school settings.
    • COVID-19 ASL Videos: A series of videos from the CDC discussing topics related to COVID-19 in ASL.

U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): OSHA offers resources to help employers and workers prepare for and respond to COVID-19 in the workplace.

Other Federal Government Resources

The White House

In January 2021, the White House issued a “National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness" (PDF), which outlines seven goals to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including protecting workers through stronger worker safety guidance and providing support to safely re-open businesses. In addition, the National Strategy recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic has “exposed and exacerbated severe and pervasive health inequities among communities defined by, among other things, race, ethnicity, disability and geography” and calls for the establishment of a COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force. To further the National Strategy, the White House issued the following Executive Orders:

U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

U.S Department of Justice

Related Content

COVID-19