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Did You Know? October is Officially National Work and Family Month

OctoberMany people may not be aware, but on Sept. 5, 2003, the United States Senate passed Resolution 210 designating October as National Work and Family Month. The Senate explained that "supporting a balance between work and personal life is in the best interest of national worker productivity" and that "reducing the conflict between work and family life should be a national priority."

In its proclamation, the Senate also requested that "the President issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe 'National Work and Family Month' with appropriate ceremonies and activities."

Sponsored by Senator Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) and co-sponsored by 12 of his colleagues, Resolution 210 identifies 11 important issues confronting American workers that are addressed by the adoption of work-life programs and services, including:

  • 85 percent of U.S. wage and salaried workers have immediate, day-to-day family responsibilities off the job
  • 46 percent of wage and salaried workers are parents with children under the age of 18 who live with them at least half time
  • Nearly one out of every four Americans -- over 45 million Americans -- provided or arranged care for a family member or friend in the past year
  • An increasing number of baby boomers reach retirement age in record numbers [and] more and more Americans are faced with the challenge of caring for older parents.

Resolution 210 goes on to say that work-life programs:

  • Are key predictors of job productivity, job satisfaction, commitment to employers, and retention
  • Allow parents to be more involved in their children's lives, and parental involvement is associated with children's higher achievement in language and mathematics, improved behavior, greater academic persistence, and lower dropout rates.

So there you have it - should overworked lawyers ever need to cite authority for work life balance programs at their firms, they've got their legislative source.

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And all this time I thought that work and family didn't go together!

Al Nye

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