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?

February 18, 2011


Solis calls for workplace flexibility at Pasadena conference

Beige Luciano-Adams • Whittier Daily News • February 17, 2011

“Recalling how her own mother struggled to raise seven children and work a low-wage job everyday, Solis said many women are trapped in a low-wage cycle where they barely scrape by and are too intimidated to ask for flexibility to care for their families.  Appealing to employers, she stressed how workplace flexibility can drive down high turnover rates, saving costs and stabilizing employment, and ultimately lifting the U.S. economy in a competitive global marketplace.”

Bias Against the Unemployed Is Subject of Probe

Melanie Trottman • Wall Street Journal • February 17, 2011

“The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has begun a probe of whether employers and recruitment firms are unlawfully barring the unemployed from applying for certain jobs, the agency’s chairman said.  EEOC Chairman Jacqueline Berrien said at a hearing Wednesday that the agency began hearing anecdotal reports of the practice last summer, including from news reports and from worker-advocacy groups gathering examples of help-wanted advertisements that said only individuals who currently had jobs should apply.”

Labor Unions Seen as Good for Workers, Not U.S. Competitiveness

• Pew Research Center for the People & the Press • February 17, 2011

“The favorability ratings for labor unions remain at nearly their lowest level in a quarter century with 45% expressing a positive view. Yet the public expresses similar opinions about business corporations – 47% have a favorable impression – and this rating is also near a historic low.  Americans express mixed views of the impact of labor unions on salaries and working conditions, international competitiveness, job availability and productivity.”

She Makes More Money Than He Does. So?

Hanna Rosin • Slate • February 16, 2011

“Researchers have recently begun scrutinizing a new kind of family ruled by ‘breadwinner wives’ or ‘top income wives,’ defined as women who make more money than their husbands. About 22 percent of American marriages of people over 30 fall into this category, up from 4 percent in 1970. (For men without a college degree, the rate is higher: One-quarter are married to wives who earn more than they do.) And demographers expect the number of such marriages to grow, as women continue to get more college degrees than young men and to outearn them, especially early in their careers.”

Women’s earnings and employment by industry, 2009

• Bureau of Labor Statistics - The Editor's Desk • February 16, 2011

“Women who worked full time in wage and salary jobs had median weekly earnings of $657 in 2009. This represented 80 percent of men’s median weekly earnings ($819). Of the 45 million women who worked full time in wage and salary jobs, 17 million were employed in education and health services, and 5 million were employed in wholesale and retail trade. Financial activities and professional and business services each employed about 4 million women.”


Increasingly Mobile World

Jack Cullen • Forbes - CIO Central • February 18, 2011

“Employees can, and do, work from virtually anywhere. According to a recent survey by the Pew Internet and Life Project, 60 percent of Americans access the Web wirelessly via laptops or smart phones.  All of this technological progress creates a more flexible work environment and contributes to a healthy work-life balance, but it poses a serious challenge to IT professionals, who face a new set of threats to data and network security.”

Report: Less than 6% of federal workers telework

Ed O'Keefe • Washington Post - Federal Eye • February 18, 2011

“Despite the savings, statistics released Thursday suggest federal employees still prefer working within the walls of federal buildings.  According to an Office of Personnel Management report submitted to Congress Thursday, 113,946 federal workers teleworked in 2009, an increase of more than 11,000 workers from the previous year.  Of those who used the option, more than two-thirds did so at least once a week, OPM said. A majority of teleworkers are women and rank and file workers, with few managers taking advantage of the option. Seventy-nine percent of teleworkers are 40 or older and have worked for the government more than 20 years.”

A Guide for Stressed Working Parents

Kimberly Palmer • U.S. News and World Report - Alpha Consumer • February 18, 2011

“How do you share responsibilities with your partner? How can you be productive even when making sure to put your child’s needs first? Is it even possible to feel like you’re excelling in both areas of your life? Cali Williams Yost, chief executive of the Flex+Strategy Group, a flexibility strategy consulting firm, and author of Work+Life: Finding the Fit That’s Right for You, helps people answer those questions for themselves.”

The Mommy Penalty Hits MBAs Hard

Tina Vasquez • Glass Hammer • February 17, 2011

“The mommy penalty is something that highly educated women have had to contend with for a very long time. A 41 percent pay decrease is excessive by many standards, but what’s almost more surprising is the fact that women are now choosing their careers – and opting out of opportunities – based on which may offer the most flexibility.  In their study, Professors Goldin and Katz wrote that ‘in general, women appear to be moving in the direction of choosing professions and specialties within professions that are consistent with their greater desire for workplace flexibility.’”

How Telecommuting Lets Workers Mobilize for Sustainability

Daniel Walsh • GreenBiz • February 17, 2011

“While a recent survey found that less than 4 percent of U.S. private sector workers actually work from home, that figure could reach as high as 30 percent by 2019, according to TechCast, a George Washington University–based virtual think tank.  What’s behind this coming workplace revolution? Quite simply, ‘work’ no longer needs to be defined as a place you go. We’re witnessing the emergence of a next generation workforce that is always-on and hyper-connected via broadband, with a proliferation of connected devices and access to on-the-go Internet-based applications and cloud-based services that make working from anywhere possible.”

Restaurant workers show up sick

Elizabeth Cohen • CNN - The Chart • February 17, 2011

“One out of eight restaurant workers has come to work at least twice in the past year while suffering from diarrhea or vomiting, according to a new survey of workers in nine states.  That’s 12% of all workers, an increase over the 5% of workers found in previous studies […] One reason workers work while vomiting or experiencing diarrhea is many restaurants don’t have paid sick leave, so if a worker stays home, he or she doesn’t get paid.”

Survey Shows Widespread Workplace Flexibility Programs

Katherine Lewis • Katherine's Working Moms Blog • February 16, 2011

“Those companies with more flexible cultures enjoyed lower turnover and higher employee engagement, the survey found.  A whopping 70 percent of companies said using flexible programs doesn’t hurt an employee’s career, and 79 percent said the recession didn’t impact these programs. Only 7 percent of organizations attempted to calculate the return on investment of flexibility programs.”

Global News

Paternity leave hits Norway cabinet, PM thrilled

Walter Gibbs • Reuters • February 17, 2011

“One of his signature issues has been expanding the ‘father quota’ in Norway’s parental leave program, encouraging dads to stay home with their babies for at least 10 weeks at full pay.  Now that his justice minister and family affairs minister have joined Oslo’s parade of male pram pushers on the state payroll, Stoltenberg is no less enthusiastic about the program.”