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President convenes "family-friendly workplace" summit to consider policies

Barack Obama notes in a blog on Huffington Post that his daylong White House Summit on Working Families is designed to convene bosses and the bossed alike "to talk about the challenges that working parents face every day and how we can address them."
Lois M. Collins, Deseret News Modified: June 24, 2014 at 4:02 pm •  Published: June 25, 2014
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Twitter, Facebook, web technology and various blogs were all employed Monday as part of the daylong White House Summit on Working Families, where topics ranged from family leave to child care and wage levels, among others.

The President wrote a blog for Huffington Post, noting that "family leave, childcare, flexibility and a decent wage aren't frills. They're basic needs. They shouldn't be bonuses, they should be the bottom line."

The official goal of the summit was "bringing together businesses, economists, labor leaders, policymakers, advocates and citizens for a national conversation about how we can create workplace policies that give modern American families the best chance to succeed at work and at home," wrote Lindsay Holst on the WhiteHouse.gov blog, which featured resources for people wanting to follow along or comment.

"Some businesses are realizing that family-friendly policies are a good business practice, because they help build loyalty and inspire workers to go the extra mile. JetBlue offers a flexible work-from-home plan for its customer-service representatives. Google increased its paid parental leave to five months — and the rate of women leaving the company decreased by half. Cisco lets their employees telecommute as needed, which they estimate saves them over $275 million every year," President Obama wrote.

According to Politico's Edward-Isaac Dovere, the summit comes "at a time when Obama has all but given up on getting anything through Congress and with executive authority that can’t do much to address the situation, is about elevating a conversation: Family lives have changed dramatically. Workplaces have not."

Dovere said the event features "corporations that have signed on to making changes and allies in unions and the media."

In the blog, President Obama announced he was signing a directive telling federal agencies to provide more flexible work options for employees.

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