Obama seeks to give government employees with families more leeway

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at the White House about the Iraq situation in Washington June 19, 2014. Credit: Reuters
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at the White House about the Iraq situation in Washington June 19, 2014.
Credit: Reuters

President Barack Obama, as part of efforts to make the U.S. workplace more accommodating for employees with families, will on Monday direct federal agencies to step up efforts to give workers more leeway in determining their schedules.

Obama, who is seeking to boost Democratic fortunes before the midterm elections in November, has been urging Congress to back legislation to make workplaces more “family friendly.”

The president will issue a memorandum requiring federal agency heads to expand flexible workplace policies as much as possible, the White House said in a statement. The goal is to make it easier for parents or workers to take care of family needs and to enable more people to find and keep jobs.

Obama will also make clear that federal workers may request a flexible work arrangement without fear it will subject them to negative consequences in the workplace, whether the request is granted or not, the White House said.

The announcements are part of the White House’s “summit on working families,” where Obama will promote policies such as raising the minimum wage and expanding access to childcare.

“Unlike every other advanced country on Earth, we’ve sort of said this is something that individual families should deal with on their own instead of all of us as a community, as a nation,” Obama said in an interview with MSNBC.

In an interview with CNN, he said the event was not just about promoting ideas that are popular with women, who make up a big part of the Democratic base, ahead of November midterms.

“It’s personal for me, and it’s personal for a lot of people,” he said, describing how he was raised by a single mother and how he and his wife, Michelle Obama, struggled to juggle work and family when their teen daughters were younger.

The president will further push for additional protections for pregnant women in the workplace by urging Congress to pass legislation preventing discrimination against expecting mothers, the White House said. The Department of Labor will make $25 million available to provide childcare for workers in training programs.

“We don’t do a very good job providing high quality, affordable childcare,” he told CNN.

Faced with a Republican-led House of Representatives, the president’s chances of passing legislation are slight. He has declared that he will pursue his agenda through unilateral actions such as executive orders and official memos.

Obama said the summit will highlight family leave policies that major employers like Deloitte and Google have instituted, such as paid family leave.

“We’re the only advanced country on earth that doesn’t have it. It doesn’t make any sense,” he told CNN.

The administration last week released a report showing that the United States could boost its sagging labor force participation rate and get more people back to work if more businesses had policies such as paid maternity and paternity leave.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Preachers rail at NYPD at Eric Garner's funeral

Preacher after preacher stepped up to the pulpit at a sweltering Brooklyn church on Wednesday to express fury at the city's police force during the funeral of Eric Garner, who…

Local

Newark schools probed after claims of race discrimination

The U.S. Department of Education said on Wednesday it was investigating complaints that a plan to reorganize public schools in Newark, New Jersey, discriminates against black students.

National

Dogs are capable of feeling jealousy - U.S.…

By Curtis Skinner(Reuters) - Dogs are a man's best friend, and research released on Wednesday says canines want to keep it that way.Dogs are capable…

Local

G train riders brace for five-week shutdown

G train service will be suspended between Brooklyn and Queens between Friday, July 25, and Tuesday, Sept. 2.

Going Out

Where to go drinking on National Tequila Day…

Thursday is just close enough to the end of the week to make you envision yourself already sunning on a beach towel or lounging by…

Going Out

Things to do in NYC this week: July…

Performing arts A 70’s Summer Night Friday, 6:30 p.m. The Green Building 452 Union St., Gowanus $35, 347-529-6473 Party like it’s summer in the 1970s…

Going Out

5 must-try dishes at Edible Manhattan's Good Beer

Rooting out the exotic amid the New York City bar scene is noble quest. But if you’d like to have it all come to you,…

Books

Art imitates life (almost) in David Shapiro's new…

David Shapiro talks about his book, "You're Not Much Use To Anyone."

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

MLB

Brandon McCarthy finds his calling on Twitter

Yankees starter Brandon McCarthy joined Twitter three year ago for the same reason many people do: to get news quickly.

Sports

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running…

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running game a boost

Food

Recharge with a post-workout smoothie from Nicky Hilton

Some people can roll out of bed right as their alarm goes off. And that alarm isn’t set for 20 minutes before they have to…

Education

Colleges are increasingly embracing the concept of gender-neutral…

  Northwestern University recently made headlines after announcing that it would be installing two gender-neutral bathrooms in the university's student center. “These are two gender-open…

Career

How to prepare to interview for your dream…

    Congratulations! You landed a job interview at your dream company! A lot of hard work has gone into determining which companies to apply…

Style

The shirtdress is a summer must-have

  We love throwing on our boyfriend’s shirt and a pair of jeans (no matter how much he grumbles that it’s his turn to wear the…