NewsRoundup

The Roundup will be brought to you in July and August by the new Work and Family Researchers Network (WFRN), an international membership organization for interdisciplinary work and family academics. The WFRN welcomes the participation of policy makers and practitioners as it seeks to promote knowledge and understanding of work and family issues among the community of global stakeholders. The Roundup is a compilation of the latest news articles, reports and other materials related to workplace flexibility delivered to your inbox on Monday and Thursday. In the fall, the WFRN will launch its new website which will include a News Feed among other features. We hope that you will get involved as a member and by posting the latest news. Questions?

October 15, 2010

Articles

Quinn Sinks Plan to Require Paid Sick Leave

Michael Howard Saul • Wall Street Journal • October 15, 2010

“Council Speaker Christine Quinn scuttled an effort to require all employers in New York City to provide workers with paid sick leave, spurning her usual liberal allies to side with the business community. [. . .] The speaker promised to reevaluate the measure if the economy improves. But a person familiar with the matter said Ms. Quinn’s decision effectively kills the bill for the foreseeable future because she won’t schedule it for a vote.”

NY Lawsuit: Citigroup used recession to fire women

Larry Neumeister • Associated Press • October 14, 2010

“[Citigroup] said it has successful diversity programs and has been cited 19 times by Working Mother Magazine as one of the 100 best companies for working mothers. [. . .] Even those women who were not fired still face a discriminatory workplace, the lawsuit said. It cited the experience of one plaintiff who alleges she faced inappropriate and offensive comments based on her gender and was paid less than similarly situated male employees. When she returned from maternity leave, she was demoted, the lawsuit said.”

Transforming the Workplace

Gadi Dechter • Center for American Progress • October 13, 2010

“Washington, D.C.’s chief technology officer, Bryan Sivak, believes letting his 600 employees work when they want, where they want—also known as the ‘results-only work environment,’ or ROWE—can boost productivity by 30 percent and enhance employee morale at a time of hiring freezes and budget cuts.  I interviewed Sivak on October 7, 2010, over email to find out how he heard about ROWE and what he expects to achieve with the initiative. The edited interview is below.”

How Marriage Survives

Justin Wolfers • New York Times • October 12, 2010

“But today, when families have easy access to prepared foods, inexpensive off-the-rack clothing and labor-saving technology from the washing machine to the robot vacuum cleaner, there’s much less benefit from either spouse specializing in homemaking. Women, now better educated and with greater control over their fertility, are in the marketplace, too, and married couples have more money, more leisure time and longer lives to spend together. Modern marriages are based not on the economic benefits of playing specialized roles but on shared passions.”

Events

Doing What Works: A Forum on Unions and Workplace Flexibility

• Labor Project for Working Families – National Public Policy Initiative, Workplace Flexibility 2010 – Georgetown Law, and the Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor, Georgetown University • October 22, 2010

“Dr. Peter Berg will present his new research on flexible work arrangements in union workplaces, with new insights for unions, employers, researchers and advocates.  A panel of union leaders will discuss the challenges and complexities of “real” flexibility at the workplace.”

National Dialogue on Workplace Flexibility: Challenges and Solutions for Small Business

• Department of Labor - Women's Bureau • October 20, 2010

“Policies that support the realities of work and life balance are essential for a strong, healthy economy and nation.  The Women’s Bureau is kicking off its National Dialogue on Workplace Flexibility to bring together employers, employees, advocates, researchers, educators, unions and other stakeholders to discuss challenges and solutions for making flexibility work and to share best practices.”

A Woman’s Nation Takes on Alzheimer’s

• Center for American Progress • October 18, 2010

“The Center for American Progress and the Alzheimer’s Association invite you to attend a forum on the impact Alzheimer’s has on families, the economy, caregivers, and especially women. The panel coincides with the Alzheimer’s Association and First Lady of California Maria Shriver’s October 15 release of The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Takes on Alzheimer’s, the largest study ever conducted to look at the effect of Alzheimer’s disease on American women as people with the disease, caregivers, and breadwinners.”

Blogs

When the Glass Ceiling Helps

Andrew O'Connell • Harvard Business Review Blogs - Research • October 13, 2010

“The glass ceiling is an infamous barrier, but a team at Duke recently discovered that it actually metamorphoses from a negative to a positive as women move from below it to above it. For middle-management women, it’s a barrier; for top leaders, it’s a mark of courage and ability. In fact, women in the top spot who are credited with success are perceived as having a significant leadership advantage over men.”

The old ball and chain

R.A. • Economist - Free Exchange • October 12, 2010

“But there may be serious downsides to the rise in dual-earner families. In particular, they may reduce household mobility. [. . .] were the household to relocate, both earners would find themselves needing to find new jobs in a market in which the ratio of job seekers to vacancies remains quite high. The risk to relocation is significant. And so the household may stay put, essentially conceding that the male half will remain unemployed for the foreseeable future.”

More workers dropping adult parents at day care

Cindy Krischer Goodman • Miami Herald - The Work/Life Balancing Act • October 12, 2010

“In response to demand, there has been significant growth in the number of Adult Day Services centers in the U.S. over the past eight years, according to a new study by the MetLife Mature Market Institute.  There are more than 4,600 Adult Day Services (ADS) centers nationwide, a 35% increase since 2002, according to ‘The MetLife National Study of Adult Day Services: Providing Support to Individuals and Their Family Caregivers’”

“It’s pretty much common knowledge that there are far fewer women than men running high-tech high-end (meaning visible, getting buzz, getting investment) startups. That’s bad news, right? I thought it was obvious.  But apparently it’s not obvious. Say, what?  Well, for example, there’s Penelope Trunk’s Women Don’t Want to Run Startups Because They’d Rather Have Children, posted over the weekend on TechCrunch.”

Global News

Grandparents win pension rights for caring for grandchildren

Mark King • Guardian, UK • October 15, 2010

“Grandparents who give up work to look after their grandchildren will no longer lose out on the basic state pension from April 2011, following a consultation on changes to national insurance credits launched by the government today. The proposal, if introduced, would benefit around 250,000 grandparents.  Currently, working-age grandparents can miss out on retirement money if they stop working before building up enough national insurance credits to get a full basic state pension.”

How to give employees the work-life balance so many want

Anna MacGregor • HR Magazine, UK • October 14, 2010

“The conclusion that work-life balance is a key priority for most employees will no doubt lead many employers to consider afresh what they can do to foster more positive employee relations, maintain or improve employee morale and encourage a healthier working environment.  In the post-recession environment such engagement is vital for business. But what kind of measures are available and worth considering?”