Latest Labor Research: FMLA, COVID-19, and the Opioid Crisis

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Building the Evidence Base

September 2020, Issue 1

Welcome to Building the Evidence Base, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Chief Evaluation Office's (CEO) quarterly newsletter, where we will share our latest independent research, data resources, and upcoming events.


New to the Evidence Base

CEO publishes new reports, briefs, resources, and data sets to support labor programs and policymaking throughout the year. Learn more about selected evidence products, below:

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Work and Family

Employee and Worksite Perspectives of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): Results from the 2018 Surveys
Read recent findings and access public use datasets from the 2018 FMLA surveys. The employee and worksite surveys aim to better understand how both employees and worksites understand and experience FMLA.

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Worker Protection

Survey of Employer Policies on the Employment of People with Disabilities
See the results of a 2018 survey to learn about employer efforts to hire people with disabilities. The study examines whether highlighting promising hiring practices and education and outreach to employers may help to increase the recruitment and hiring of workers with disabilities.

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Substance Use
and Work

The Role of the Workforce System in Addressing the Opioid Crisis
Employers can use this practical resource guide to address opioid use disorder in the workplace and support affected individuals with employment services.

View all Completed Reports
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Topic Highlight: Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment in the U.S. has reached historic levels during the COVID-19 pandemic, greatly increasing participation in unemployment programs. DOL’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) Program is a joint state-federal program that provides temporary financial assistance to qualifying unemployed workers while they seek work.

Explore CEO research that examines critical issues and factors that impact the effectiveness of UI programs and how recipients navigate economic and labor market hardships.

Challenges and Strategies Used to Operate Unemployment Insurance Programs During the Great Recession

A Longitudinal Survey of Unemployment Insurance Recipients in Two Regions in California

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CLEAR Highlights and COVID-19 Updates

Do you want to learn more about evidence to inform a program, policy or research design? The Clearinghouse for Labor Evaluation and Research (CLEAR) is a trusted source of labor-related research and information. CLEAR summarizes rigorous research by topic area to make evidence accessible and user-friendly for researchers, policymakers, and the public. To date, CLEAR has conducted evidence reviews in 18 topic areas and summarized more than 1000 studies.

Visit CLEAR to find out how much research exists in an area, what we know about the effectiveness of strategies or programs, or to understand how confident you can be in a particular study’s findings. While you’re there, read CLEAR’s latest rapid review synthesis reports on strategies to support employees during COVID-19. The reports summarize the existing evidence on programs and strategies to support and retain employees and to help unemployed individuals engage in job searches.


Moving Research Forward: Staff Spotlight

For more than 20 years, Janet Javar has contributed to DOL’s growing evidence base. As a Senior Evaluation Specialist at CEO, Janet oversees research that focuses primarily on employment and training, UI, veterans services, and the use of administrative data (particularly earnings data) for research and program management.

Janet recommends checking out A Literature Scan and Synthesis of Research on Labor-Related Behavioral Science to learn more about how behavioral interventions are used in employment and training programs, as well as other DOL programs.


Building the Evidence Base is your quarterly source of rigorous and relevant labor research from DOL’s Chief Evaluation Office. Please share with your friends and colleagues. If you received this newsletter from a colleague or friend, click here to subscribe to future installments and other CEO updates.

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  Chief Evaluation Office
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy
U.S. Department of Labor
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