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Flexible Work Arrangements Likely to Become Major Employment Issue, First Lady and Study Challenge Federal Government to Lead by Example

First Lady Michelle Obama recently challenged employers to provide more flexibility to employees.  In a similar vein, a Georgetown Law-based think tank called Workplace Flexibility 2010 has released a new report outlining the most comprehensive set of policy solutions to expand Americans’ access to flexible work arrangements (FWAs).

In order to make FWAs the “new normal” in the American workplace, the report recommends five complementary prongs: (1) Spur a national campaign to make FWAs compelling to both employers and employees; (2) Provide employers and employees with the tools and training they need to make FWAs a standard way of working; (3) Support innovations in FWAs, learn from those efforts, and disseminate lessons learned; (4) Lead by example, making the federal government a model employer; and (5) Build an infrastructure of federal, state and community players to implement the first four prongs of the effort. 

Employers should begin now to review its policies and practices concerning scheduling and accommodations for employees dealing with family responsibilities.  There is little doubt this area of law will emerge and legislation will be created to address these types of issues in the very near future.

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