Family Friendly Workplaces
Many of today's employers recognize that offering some degree of flexibility for scheduling and benefits is an essential tool for recruitment and retention of workers. Though family dynamics have changed over the last several decades, women essentially remain the primary caregivers for children and other family members in a great number of families. Therefore, family friendly workplaces, which benefit all workers, disproportionately benefit women.
The U.S. Department of Labor Women's Bureau offers a program and technical assistance to businesses interested in exploring or implementing flexible scheduling called Flex-Options for Women. Flexible workplace schedules not only benefit workers, but are extremely valuable for employers in such areas as reducing absenteeism, building employer loyalty, and the ability to offer attractive benefits for little or no cost.
The federal Family
Medical Leave Act requires that employers with 50 employees
or more provide job-protected, unpaid leave of up to twelve
weeks to workers in their employee for at least 12 months
for the purposes of giving birth to or adopting a child,
to care for a family member, or if the employee her/himself
has a serious medical condition.
For employers who wish to implement a
paid sick days policy, this
toolkit provides resources. It includes sample policies,
implementation guidance for D.C. and San Francisco (where
there are active paid sick days laws), and additional information
such as tax credits available for small businesses under
the Affordable Care Act.
ICSW commonly fields questions related
to pregnancy and breastfeeding while working. Employment
discrimination due to pregnancy is against the law.
The public interest is best served when employers allow
and encourage those employees who wish to breastfeed to
do so, such as making reasonable accommodations for nursing
employees to have time and space to pump. Pumping typically
takes 15 minutes, twice a day. LA Best Babies has created
a very useful guide
for employers and employees alike. La
Leche League and the Iowa
Department of Public Health have many other resources