Washington, D.C. Recognizing the importance of employers and employees working together to achieve more balance between work and family, Congress has declared October to be National Work and Family Month. The recognition was made official on October 14, when the U.S. Senate unanimously passed Senate Resolution 296 and the House of Representatives unanimously passed House Resolution 768. Sens. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and Michael Crapo (R-ID), co-chairs of the Senate Workplace Flexibility Study Group, were the lead sponsors in the Senate. Reps. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) and Todd Platts (R-PA) were the lead sponsors of the House resolution for the second year in a row. McCarthy is Chairwoman and Platts is Ranking Member of the Healthy Families and Communities Subcommittee of the House Education and Labor Committee.
Statements from the lead sponsors on the passage of the resolutions:
“As the mother of twin boys, I understand many of the challenges working families face while attempting to balance both work and family obligations,” said Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.). “I was proud to sponsor the resolution designating October 2009 as National Work and Family Month with Senator Crapo to highlight this issue. In addition, through our work on the bipartisan Senate study group, we have brought Senate staff together to take a critical look at the research and data available on workplace flexibility and engage in meaningful discussions on how increased flexibility can help both employers and employees succeed. I appreciate the leadership that WorldatWork is providing in this area, and I look forward to other opportunities to partner with them in the future.”
“Studies show that a healthy balance between work and family will produce happier and more productive employees, which will benefit the rest of society as well as the economy,” said Senator Michael Crapo (R-ID). “This is why I co-sponsored Senate Resolution 296, with Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, which designates October 2009 as National Work and Family Month.’ A lack of job flexibility for working parents negatively affects children’s health in ways that range from children being unable to make necessary doctors’ appointments to children receiving inadequate early care, which leads to more severe and prolonged illness.”
“I was pleased when the House of Representatives unanimously passed my resolution to recognize October as National Work and Family Month. We must continue to do all we can to promote a healthier and more flexible work environment,” said Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY). “Research has shown that having a more flexible work environment is an inexpensive, effective way to motivate and retain top talent. I commend and thank all the businesses, employees, and organizations all over the country, including WorldatWork, as they celebrate National Work and Family Month.”
“Many working parents, particularly those in lower-wage occupations, find it difficult to balance the demands of the workplace and the demands of home and family,” said Congressman Todd Platts (R-PA). “Recognizing October as National Work and Family Month’ encourages employers and employees to work together to achieve more flexible work environments, thereby improving morale and increasing productivity.”
The renewed endorsement by Congress coincides with the sixth anniversary of National Work & Family Month, a national education campaign led by Alliance for Work-Life Progress, an affiliate of WorldatWork, to raise awareness among employers about the value of work-life effectiveness as a business imperative.
“This bi-partisan resolution shows that our legislators acknowledge the importance of employer-sponsored work-life programs, especially in this stressful economic climate,” said Cara Welch, public policy director for WorldatWork. “We are thrilled by the passage of this legislation. And WorldatWork is especially grateful to Sens. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and Michael Crapo (R-ID), Reps. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) and Todd Platts (R-PA) and all the co-sponsors, all of whom have been longtime champions of these issues.”
Senate Resolution 296 has the following co-sponsors:
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)
Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT)
Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI)
Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)
House Resolution 768 has the following co-sponsors:
Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL)
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO)
Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro (D-CT)
Rep. Raul M. Grijalva (D-AZ)
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)
Rep. Janice D. Schakowsky (D-IL)
Rep. Paul D. Tonko (D-NY)
Rep. Lynn C. Woolsey (D-CA)
About Alliance for Work-Life Progress®
Alliance for Work-Life Progress (www.awlp.org) is dedicated to advancing work-life as a business strategy integrating work, family and community. An entity of WorldatWork, AWLP defines and recognizes innovation and best practices, facilitates dialogue among various sectors and promotes work-life thought leadership.
About WorldatWork®: The Total Rewards Association
WorldatWork (www.worldatwork.org) is a global human resources association focused on compensation, benefits, work-life and integrated total rewards to attract, motivate and retain a talented workforce. Founded in 1955, WorldatWork provides a network of more than 30,000 members and professionals in 75 countries with training, certification, research, conferences and community. It has offices in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Washington, D.C.
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