EARN Newsletter: August 2023
Updated Mental Health Toolkit and More!
EARN in Action
Updated Workplace Mental Health Toolkit
EARN’s Workplace Mental Health Toolkit has been revamped! In addition to a new look and feel, the user-friendly resource now includes up-to-date statistics about the prevalence of mental health conditions in the United States, accommodation ideas for employees with Long COVID, and case studies highlighting successful workplace well-being programs. The toolkit offers research-based strategies to help employers create a supportive culture for all employees, including workers who are members of marginalized communities. At the core of the guide are EARN’s "4 A's of a Mental Health-Friendly Workplace": awareness, accommodations, assistance, and access.
NILG Federal Contractor and Subcontractor Compliance Info Center
EARN recently collaborated with the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and the National Industry Liaison Group (NILG) on the development of an online information center to help NILG members and others comply with federal contracting requirements and meet their disability utilization goals. Located on the EARN website, the NILG Info Center includes links to webpages, factsheets, frequently asked questions, and guides on topics such as finding candidates with disabilities, retaining and advancing disabled workers, and encouraging self-identification of disability. The new resource was developed as part of ODEP’s Alliance with NILG.
Just Released! EARN Accommodation Webinar Recording
A recording of EARN’s webinar celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Rehab Act) and the 33rd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is now available. “Creating a Disability-Inclusive Workplace: The Role of Accommodations” explores how effective accommodations advance disability inclusion and support the goals of the ADA and Rehab Act. Guest speakers from the Job Accommodation Network (JAN), NASA’s Johnson Space Center, and Stakes Manufacturing discuss effective accommodation practices that go beyond compliance.
EARN at EEOC EXCEL Conference
Earlier this month, the EARN team presented at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) Examining Conflicts in Employment Law (EXCEL) Conference in Washington, DC. EXCEL is an annual training conference for federal equal employment opportunity managers, supervisors, and practitioners. The EARN team participated in two panel presentations, one on “Achieving Inclusion and Diversity in the Workplace with Digital Accessibility” with representatives from the General Services Administration, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, and Department of Homeland Security, and the other on “Stress, Anxiety, and Burnout: Prioritizing Mental Health in the Workplace” with ODEP Chief of Staff Anupa Iyer Geevarghese and EY Americas Chief Wellbeing Officer Frank Giampietro.
Disability Employment in the News
Promoting Mental Health-Friendly Workplaces for Everyone
In a DOL blog post honoring Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su explored issues impacting the mental health needs of racial and ethnic minority groups. The blog highlighted strategies employers can implement to create supportive work environments that prioritize employee mental health and offer access to treatment and supports. Resources like EARN’s newly updated Workplace Mental Health Toolkit can help promote equity and ensure organizational well-being programs respect experiences of employees from all backgrounds.
Women with Disabilities and the Labor Market
A new ODEP report analyzes issues impacting the employment and workforce participation of women with disabilities, including labor market trends, educational attainment, and earnings and poverty rates. The report uses data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Population Survey, Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health to explore topics such as representation of disabled women in trade occupations, the COVID-19 pandemic and telework, mental health, and barriers to employment.
Examining 50 Years of the Rehab Act
In celebration of Disability Pride Month in July and the 50th anniversary of the Rehab Act, a new DOL video shares the experiences and perspectives of four diverse young people with disabilities. Cecilia Grugan, Alexis “Zandy” Wong, Jalyn Radziminski, and Misha Nicholas each discuss the impact Section 504 of the Rehab Act has had on their lives and how it advances access and equity for them and others with disabilities. Section 504 prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities by any program or activity that is federally funded or conducted and helped lay the foundation for the ADA.
Laying the Groundwork for Disability Inclusion at Tyson Foods
Tyson Foods Inc. recently partnered with inclusive employment experts Joshin to develop a pilot program focused on enhancing disability diversity at the company. The new program is part of Tyson’s commitment to ensure diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in its workforce. Joshin will provide resources and assistance to help the company create an inclusive workplace culture for employees with disabilities, from the recruitment and hiring process to on-the-job supports such as one-on-one coaching. Tyson’s enABLE Business Resource Group will also provide input on the program.
The content in this newsletter does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Labor, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.