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 26, 2010


“National Work and Family Month serves as a reminder to all of us, especially working caregivers, their families, and their employers, that while we have made great strides as a nation to adopt more flexible policies in the workplace, there’s more we can do.  Millions of Americans continue to struggle day-in and day-out to balance work and family life – to juggle their job responsibilities with caring for a child, an elderly relative, or a loved one with a disability.”

Service with a Sniffle?

David Shovitz • Human Resource Executive Online • October 25, 2010

“There’s an epidemic hitting the restaurant business: Workers coming to work sick.  That’s one of the findings of a recent study by Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, a national advocacy group for restaurant workers. The New York-based organization surveyed 4,323 restaurant workers in eight major cities and found that two-thirds of employees worked during the previous year while they were sick.  ROCU claims it’s the largest study ever conducted on this issue.”

Calling Mr. Mom?

Lisa Belkin • New York Times • October 25, 2010

“Telling women they have reached parity is like telling an unemployed worker the recession is over. It isn’t true until it feels true. That’s because measuring women’s power by looking only at women — and by looking mostly at the workplace — paints a false picture.  Men today are at the turning point women reached several decades ago, when the joint demands of work and home first intensified.”

Democrats Try to Revive Female Voters’ Enthusiasm

Helene Cooper and Monica Davey • New York Times • October 21, 2010

“The outreach to women — which came on the same day that the White House released a report that said Mr. Obama’s policies, including the health care and economic stimulus bills, have helped women over all — is part of a fevered push to cement a Democratic firewall that White House officials are hoping will stem losses in November.”

Worthy proposes jail for parents who skip kids’ school conferences

Christine MacDonald • Detroit News • October 20, 2010

“Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy is pushing for a law that calls for jail time for parents who skip parent-teacher conferences, a plan some call inspired and others consider the nanny state run amok. [. . .] Her plan would require parents to attend at least one conference per year or face three days in jail.”


Mr. Mom and the Art of Social Change

Slate - XX Factor • KJ Dell'Anotonia • October 25, 2010

“But to find an example of successful social change in this respect, Belkin found herself stuck with Sweden and its much-heralded parental-leave policy, and with Lehman Bros., which apparently disguised a new telecommuting program and effectively made it gender-neutral by billing it as a back-up plan in the event of terrorism or epidemic.”

Rich Mom, Poor Mom

Nancy Folbre • New York Times - Economix • October 25, 2010

“You might assume that highly paid women suffer a bigger economic penalty than other women when they have a baby because, after all, they have more earnings to lose.  In a startling new look at the ‘motherhood penalty,’ however, two sociologists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Michelle J. Budig and Melissa J. Hodges, show that mothers with lower earnings suffer the biggest percentage loss in hourly wages.”

Social Security workers getting an extra day off

Ed O'Keefe • Washington Post - Federal Eye • October 25, 2010

“It’s an aggravating fact of life for many federal workers: The day after Thanksgiving isn’t officially a holiday, so they either use a vacation day or go to work.  But top bosses at the Social Security Administration are giving the agency’s more than 64,000 workers a four-day Thanksgiving weekend as a thank you for their hard work this year.”

The Top Five Issues Affecting Working Families Today

Mary Curlew • Huffington Post • October 25, 2010

“In honor of National Work & Family Month, I’ve compiled a list of the top five most talked about issues affecting working families in the United States and abroad over approximately the past six months. This list is based on trends that I have observed while combing through journal articles, newspapers, blogs, and various RSS feeds that address work-family issues. I have included links to information that I think sums up the issue in a unique or insightful way.”

Parenting Our Parents from Near and Far…

Mindy Fried • Sloan Work and Family Blog • October 25, 2010

“Nearly 60% of those who care for their elder parents are in the paid workforce, and the majority of us work full-time. Our work as caregivers is on top of – and sometimes in the midst of – our paid work. It’s not uncommon for me to get a call in the middle of my workday either from my father or about my father, and whatever work is generated from the call simply gets woven into the many strands of my other responsibilities.”

When Ambition and Reality Collide

Rachel Emma Silverman • Wall Street Journal - The Juggle • October 25, 2010

“Right now, I’m trying to figure out, emotionally and logistically, whether changing my relatively comfortable schedule — not to mention forgoing quality time with my kids –is worth it to realize my career ambitions. I haven’t figured out the answer yet. Perhaps the solution is to put my ambitions on hold for a while, and then return in full force when my kids are older; the uncertainty is whether a fulfilling job will exist for me then after being on the sidelines for a while.”

Pelosi holds Twitterview with ‘moms’ nonprofit

Elise Viebeck • Hill - Twitter Room • October 22, 2010

“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) made a personal appeal to female voters on Twitter Friday with an interview with Moms Rising, a nonprofit that advocates for maternity and paternity leave, flex-time and other family-related issues.”

Global News

Employers Lure Staff With Social Benefits Package

Olga Kalashnikova • St. Petersburg Times, Russia • October 26, 2010

“The Labor Law guarantees employees the right to paid sick leave, an official salary, a paid 28-calendar day vacation and obligatory medical insurance. Any extra perks offered by employers are aimed at attracting and retaining staff.  At the onset of the crisis, many companies reduced their social benefits programs, and the first area to see cuts was training and educational programs. Now compensation packages are gradually returning to their pre-crisis state.”

“In a frank interview, the leader of the Liberal Democrats spoke of his difficulties juggling fatherhood and front-line politics since he was appointed Deputy Prime Minister in May.  Mr Clegg, 43, who has three young sons, said that he and his wife Miriam, a full-time lawyer, had struggled with the decision over whether he should become David Cameron’s deputy.”