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?

March 2, 2010

Articles

When Should You Become A Mom?

Jenna Goudreau • Forbes • March 2, 2010

“The growing ranks of working women—half of the workforce is female, filling 51% of management and professional positions, and they are the primary or co-breadwinners in two-thirds of American families with children—opens up a new and increasingly heated debate that moves past the working mother vs. stay-at-home-mother battlefield.  Is there an ideal age to become a mom and still nurture a successful professional life?”

Work and Family Are Middle-Class Issues

Heather Boushey and Ann O'Leary • Center for American Progress • March 2, 2010

“The report acknowledges that creating good jobs is critical to middle-class families’ economic stability, but focuses on the long-term challenges that pre-date the recession and will likely remain pressings issues even after we get unemployment back down. These challenges include balancing work and family, college access and affordability, and retirement security.”

Valerie Jarrett, Illinois Attorney General lead the way as women in power

Matthew W. Hutchins • Harvard Law Record • March 1, 2010

“In addition to keynote addresses by top Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett, whose daughter Laura Jarrett ’10 was in the audience, and Lisa Madigan, the Attorney General of Illinois, three panels were convened on the subjects of change in the courtroom, the workplace, and the community. Cognizant of the pressures that the young women in the audience will face after graduation, many of the speakers offered common sense advice regarding the selection of a future career path, the challenges of leadership, and the struggle for work-life balance while raising a family.”

Critics say Wal-Mart sick-pay policy puts public at risk

Angela Woodall • Oakland Tribune, CA • March 1, 2010

“The sick-leave policy of the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., is putting the public at risk because workers are not paid the first day they take off for an illness, even if it is a serious contagious disease, according to members of several unions and labor watchdog groups.  The policy of docking pay on the first day of an illness, they said, ignores government recommendations to let H1N1 victims stay home without being penalized.”

D.C. hospital fires 11 nurses, 5 staffers for snowstorm absences

Theresa Vargas • Washington Post • February 28, 2010

“The District’s largest private hospital has fired 11 nurses and five support staff members who failed to make it to work during the back-to-back snowstorms that paralyzed the region earlier this month.  Dozens of staff members at Washington Hospital Center face internal investigations, union representatives say, and it is unclear how many employees will lose their jobs. On Friday, the nurses union, Nurses United of the National Capital Region, filed a class-action grievance with the hospital.”

Civil Justice Clinic's new Work-Life Policy Unit at Arizona State University

Julie Weber and Karen Corday • Network News, Volume 12(2) • February 1, 2010

“An interview with Marcy Karin.”  For the front page of Volume 12(2) of Network News, click here.

Blogs

How do you handle sick days and snow days?

Lylah M. Alphons • Boston Globe - Child Caring • March 1, 2010

“The call came Friday morning around 6 a.m., after nearly two days of snow and sleet and rain: A transformer had blown, and since the preschool had no electricity it was going to be closed for the day.  We don’t have back-up childcare right now, and so my husband and I went into juggling mode.”

What's Your Ideal Job?

Catherine Rampell • New York Times - Economix • March 1, 2010

“What’s your ideal job? If you’re like most employed Americans, it’s the one you already have.  In survey data released today, Gallup found that 70 percent of working Americans say their current job is the ‘ideal job’ for them. [. . .] Older workers, more educated workers and white workers are also more likely to favorably evaluate how their fit their jobs. Women and men are equally likely to say that they think their jobs are ideal.”

Are You a Member of the Gen-Y 'Slackoisie'? Find Out Here

Ashby JoneS • Wall Street Journal - Law Blog • March 1, 2010

“Still, the UD goes where others don’t dare go. And along the way picks up some funny, if not g-rated or politically correct, definitions.  But the one to which we’ll introduce you today has nothing to do with drugs, sex, or rock & roll. It’s funny, though, and will probably strike many out there as either spot-on or downright offensive. It goes like this:  Slackoisie.”

On Your Bookshelf: Glass Ceilings & 100-Hour Couples

Andrea Newell • Glass Hammer • February 26, 2010

“If you are a professional woman with children, you have faced the decision about whether to keep working or stay at home. No matter which route you chose to take, most likely the bulk of household responsibilities still fall on your shoulders, and you have begun the inevitable balancing act of work and family.  There are endless articles, books and discussion about work/life balance. But those of us who are currently trying to walk that tightrope know – there is no balance. Something has to give, and more often than not, the woman is the one who gives.”

Global News

With pressures high, South Korean women put off marriage and childbirth

Blaine Harden • Washington Post • March 1, 2010

“In a country where people work more and sleep less than anywhere else in the developed world, women are often elbowed away from rewards in their professional lives. If they have a job, they make 38 percent less money than men, the largest gender gap in the developed world. If they become pregnant, they are pressured at work not to take legally guaranteed maternity leave. [. . .] Women who do combine work and family find themselves squeezed between too little time and too much guilt: for neglecting the education of children in a nation obsessed with education, for shirking family obligations as dictated by assertive mothers-in-law, and for failing to attend to the care and feeding of overworked and resentful husbands.”

Flexibility is the key to a loyal workforce

Claire Keeton • Times Live, South Africa • February 28, 2010

“This may sound like common sense, yet South African employers lag far behind the developed world in allowing flexitime - which has health benefits for employees and seems to improve their productivity and retention.”