Ensuring Disability Equity and Inclusion in the Post-Pandemic Workplace

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3 Sep 2021

As employers start to look at the post-pandemic workplace, they will need to navigate a variety of issues. To help, the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) offers a number of resources, many of which are applicable to employees and employers in any country.

As employers across the world look toward the post-COVID workplace, they will need to navigate many unprecedented issues. Organizations whose workers were largely remote at the start of the pandemic must consider their telework policies going forward, and those with workers who remained onsite will continue to face new challenges as more information comes to light about the efficacy of vaccinations and risk of variants.

To help American employers devise reopening plans that do not discriminate and take into account the needs of  workers with disabilities, the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) recently published several new resources.

To start, the policy brief, Disability-Inclusive COVID-19 Workplace Safety and Health Plans, describes strategies to help workplace reopening plans align with U.S. disability nondiscrimination laws and regulations, as well as public health and occupational safety policies and procedures.

Another new resource examines the opportunities increased telework may offer with regard to the representation of people with disabilities in the workforce. Leveraging Remote Work to Increase Inclusion explores how employers may be able to widen their potential talent pool to include people with disabilities seeking flexible work arrangements. This tool may be useful as employers reassess their recruitment, hiring, onboarding, compensation and evaluation processes.

Supporting this, Adopting an Integrated Telework Policy for Employees With and Without Disabilities, outlines strategies for developing policies that consider remote work’s utility as both an option available to some or all employees and a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

EARN is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy under a cooperative agreement with Cornell University’s Yang-Tan Institute on Employment and Disability. For more information, visit AskEARN.org.