When President Clinton signed the Family Medical & Leave Act in 1993, he created a brand new avenue for American workers to manage their work-life balance. Thus far, the act has helped thousands of families focus on spending time with their kids during the times in life when parents are needed most. New mothers now have the security of knowing that when they take a maternity leave, there will be a job waiting for them if they decide to return. The other major advantage is that it has allowed families with troubled children to play a more influential part in helping their children turn themselves around.
Ever since the act took effect, numerous studies have taken place about its effectiveness. Employees and employers have also challenged it. State and local governments have taken the act and expanded upon it, making it ever more useful. This paper will examine some of these stories and discuss the possible ramifications of these events.
The Level of Benefit:
A study in March of this year, conducted by Children Defense Fund of Minnesota, showed that only 4% of Minnesota employers offer paid leave for new parents. The federal law requires twelve weeks of unpaid leave at companies with fifty or more employees. The Minnesota law required only six weeks of unpaid leave at companies with twenty or more employees.
The Children’s Defense Fund is proposing a voluntary program that would use state tax money to cover up to 1/3 of the salary of any parent on leave if the employer covers at least another third. If this legislation passes, it could make it much more realistic for parents to take the entire time allotted to them off.
President Clinton said in February 2000 that he would like to expan...
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...es and unintentionally signals vulnerability.” (Heim, Pat) Not only is smiling too much a problem for women, but head nodding can be too. “When women listen during a conversation, they tend to nod unconsciously as if to say, ‘I heard you.’ The gesture doesn’t necessarily mean they agree. Men, on the other hand, nod assent.” (Heim, Pat) Most people never think twice about their body language. They do whatever comes natural to them. Sometimes though this can get you into serious trouble. It’s important to keep these few issues in mind while talking to people.
These are two key areas that women can unwittingly send a mixed signal or even worse send the wrong signal. Keeping these few differences in mind will enable better communication in the workplace and out of it.
Hardball for Women, by Pat Heim Ph. D. 1993 by the Penguin Group
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