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Timeline of Key Policy Events Supporting Working Families

Timeline created by nconstable in Politics
Event Date: Event Title: Event Description:
Timeline Work Projects Administration (WPA) This legislation originally called Progress Administration and renamed in 1939, was the largest New Deal agency; it employed millions to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads and the operation of literacy projects. It was funded by Congress with the passage of the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1935 (48 Stat. 1055).
Timeline The National Labor Relations Act of 1935 Governs how employers may treat workers in the private sector who create labor unions, engage in collective bargaining, and take part in strikes and other forms of activity in support of their demands. Established the National Labor Relations Board, which investigates and decides on charges of unfair labor practices. The Board also looks into matters such as better training for employees and the development of standard procedures in different occupational areas. 29 U.S.C. § 151-169
Timeline Social Security Act of 1935 This law was passed as part of the New Deal in an attempt to address dangers faced by the elderly, those in poverty, and the unemployed. The Act provided benefits to retirees and the unemployed, as well as a lump-sum benefit at death. 42 U.S.C. ch. 7
Timeline The Fair Labor Standards Act This law established a national minimum wage, guaranteed at least “time and a half” for overtime in certain jobs, and prohibited most employment of minors. 29 U.S.C. 201 et seq.
Timeline Equal Pay Act of 1963 This law amended the Fair Labor Standards Act and was aimed at abolishing wage disparity based on sex. 29 U.S.C. 206 et seq.
Timeline Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 This law prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, and religion. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.
Timeline The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 This law protects individuals who are at least forty years of age from employment discrimination based on age. 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq.
Timeline The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 This law prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs conducted by federal agencies, in programs receiving federal financial assistance, in federal employment and in the employment practices of federal contractors. PL 93-112 (Employment Provisions codified at 29 U.S.C. § 701 et seq.)
Timeline The Comprehensive Employment and Training Act This law was enacted in 1973 and provided work to the long-term unemployed in public agencies or private, not for profit organizations as well as provided summer work to low income high school students. The intent of this law was to teach workers marketable skills that would allow them to move to an unsubsidized job. The Job Training Partnership Act later repealed this law.
Timeline The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 This law established minimum standards for pension plans in private industry and provided for extensive rules on the federal income tax effects of transactions associated with employee benefit plans. It was enacted to protect the interests of employee benefit plan participants and their beneficiaries by establishing standards of conduct for plan fiduciaries. 29 U.S.C. § 1001 et seq.
Timeline Earned Income Tax Credit This legislation, enacted in 1975 and later expanded by subsequent tax legislation, provides a refundable tax credit for low and middle-income persons and families. 26 U.S.C. § 32 et seq.
Timeline The Federal Employees Flexible and Compressed Work Schedules Act of 1978 This law authorized the use of alternative and compressed work schedules in the federal government. 5 U.S.C. § 6120 et seq.
Timeline Federal Employees Part-Time Career Employment Act of 1978 This law allowed and encouraged greater use of part-time options for federal employees to work less than the traditional 40-hour workweek. 5 U.S.C. § 3401 et seq.
Timeline The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 This law amended the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit sex discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e(k)
Timeline The Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 This tax cutting legislation included, among the key provisions, the lowering of the marriage penalty tax for families with two working spouses and the expansion of individual retirement arrangements to all working people. PL 97-34 (Codified in Title 26 of the U.S. Code)
Timeline The Job Training Partnership Act of 1982 The successor of the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act established federal programs to prepare youth and unskilled adults for entry in to the labor force and to provide job training to economically disadvantaged individuals. It was repealed by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998.
Timeline The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1988 This law protects employees, their families, and communities by requiring most employers to provide advance notice of plant closings and mass layoffs to give employees a short amount of time to receive training and look for other employment. 29 U.S.C. 2101
Timeline Creation of a Formal Federal Job-Sharing Program The annual Office of Personnel Management appropriations law required the creation of a formal job-sharing program. PL 101-136
Timeline Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 This law prohibits discrimination in employment based on disability. 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.
Timeline Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 This law requires employers with at least 50 employees to provide job-protected unpaid time off to employees who work at least 1250 hours in the previous 12 months for the birth or adoption of a child or to care for the serious health condition of oneself or one’s immediate family member. 29 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq.
Timeline National Performance Review Report Among other things, this report highlighted the federal government’s limited use of family-friendly workplace policies and recommended the use of additional flexible work arrangements.
Timeline Presidential Declaration of Labor History Month President Clinton’s Proclamation 6688 declared the month of May 1994 as Labor History Month to highlight the importance of studying the history of labor to understand the foundations of work life in America: the 8 hour day, the forty hour week, security in unemployment and old age, protection for the sick and injured, equal employment opportunity, protection for children and health and safety.
Timeline Presidential Memorandum on Expanding Family-Friendly Work Arrangements in the Executive Branch President Clinton issues a memorandum directing executive agencies to encourage flexible work arrangements.
Timeline Women’s Equality Day President Clinton’s Proclamation 6715 declared August 26, 1994 as Women’s Equality Day to commemorate the ratification of the 19th Amendment and to honor the important contributions and achievements of women in this country and commit to fulfilling obligations to promote equality for all Americans.
Timeline Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act This law provides up to five years of job protection for the civilian employment of employees who are not full time military service members, but are called to active duty. 38 U.S.C. § 4301 et seq.
Timeline Federal Family Friendly Leave Act of 1994 Federal Family Friendly Leave Act of 1994: This law allows federal employees to take time off in instances of medical need or death of family members. PL 103-3
Timeline Presidential Memorandum on Implementing Federal Family Friendly Work Arrangements President Clinton directed executive agencies to review and further utilize workplace flexibility via memorandum.
Timeline Department of Labor Regional Working Women’s Summits The Women’s Bureau of the Department of Labor held the first of 20 regional Working Women’s summits. Topics included elder care, the “glass ceiling,” fair pay, pensions, life-long learning, and workplace flexibility.
Timeline White House Conference on Early Child Development and Child Care The White House Conference on Early Child Development and Child Care highlighted the benefits of early nurturing parents.
Timeline The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997: This law amends the tax code to include a new tax benefit to families through the Per Child Tax Credit, a refundable credit that especially benefits many lower-income families. PL 105-34
Timeline Meeting the Needs of Today’s Workforce: Child Care Best Practices During a White House Ceremony, President Clinton released Meeting the Needs of Today’s Workforce: Child Care Best Practices, a publication by the Department of Labor Women’s Bureau that highlighted 40 innovative child care programs initiated by employers across the country to address the needs of working parents.
Timeline Work and Elder Care: Facts for Caregivers and Their Employers. The Department of Labor Women’s Bureau released the publication Work and Elder Care: Facts for Caregivers and Their Employers.
Timeline The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 The Workforce Investment Act of 1998: Replacing the Job Training Partnership Act and certain other federal job training laws, this law created a new national workforce investment system in part by trying to entice businesses to participate in the local delivery of workforce development services. PL105-220
Timeline Federal Caregivers Conference The Office of Personnel and Management sponsored a caregivers conference that addressed the issues and challenges older persons will face in the 21st century.
Timeline Federal Child Care Summit The Office of Personnel Management hosted the first Federal Child Care Summit in Kansas City, Missouri, which brought together experts and professionals from the private and public sectors to provide solutions for quality, affordable childcare.
Timeline New Tools to Help Parents Balance Work and Family By memorandum, President Clinton directed the Secretary of Labor to promulgate regulations that permit states to create ways to use the unemployment compensation system to support parents taking time off after the birth or adoption of a child. The regulations, which were repeated under President Bush, allowed states to create ways for parents to obtain unemployment compensation for the first year a child was with the family.
Timeline Jobs and Growth Tax Act of 2003 The Jobs and Growth Tax Act of 2003 amended the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide tax incentives to encourage economic growth, including changes to allow for greater credits for families with children. PL108-27
Timeline National Work and Family Month Resolution This resolution designated October as National Work and Family Month and urged public officials and employers to work together to achieve more balance between work and family. S.Res.210
Timeline American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 The American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 amended the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to promote manufacturing, service, and high technology businesses and workers being more competitive and productive at home and abroad. This law compensated for lost benefits by permanently cutting corporate tax rates for domestic manufacturers, producers, farmers, and small corporations as well as provided pro-growth tax incentives, among other tax provisions. PL108-357
Timeline Federal Workforce Flexibility Act of 2004 The Federal Workforce Flexibility Act of 2004 provided reform for federal employment in the area of pay. The law included limitations on pay, bonus information, and reporting requirements for the federal government. PL108-411
Timeline First Annual Earned Income Tax Credit Toolkit In conjunction with the Internal Revenue Service, Corporate Voices published the first annual Earned Income Tax Credit Toolkit (EITC) Guide to assist companies in helping employees take advantage of tax credits and other benefits.
Timeline Corporate Voices' CEO Statement of Support for Expanding Workplace Flexibility Six top executives signed the Corporate Voices CEO Statement of Support for Expanding Workplace Flexibility stating that they believe in flexibility as a beneficial management tool and that they were committed to expanding flexibility in their workplaces. Additionally, these CEOs agreed to continue to provide leadership in communicating the benefits of workplace flexibility policies to others.
Timeline Model Workplace Supports for Lower-Wage Employees Toolkit Corporate Voices created the Model Workplace Supports for Lower-Wage Employees Toolkit to provide information about programs that demonstrate the importance of hourly employees to a company and also help those workers with financial and family issues that affect their ability to perform optimally on the job. This Toolkit is updated regularly, most recently on February 18, 2010.
Timeline White House Conference on Aging Held Dec. 11-14, the White House Conference on Aging brought 1200 delegates together to make recommendations to the President and Congress on how best to guide national aging policies. A number of recommendations related to economic security and workplace flexibility were issued in 2006.
Timeline Creation of tje Interagency Taskforce on the Aging of the American Workforce The Department of Labor created an Interagency Taskforce on the Aging of the American Workforce to identify strategies to enhance the ability of older Americans to remain in or re-enter the labor market and pursue self-employment opportunities and enable businesses to take full advantage of this skilled labor pool. The Report of the Taskforce on the Aging of the American Workforce was released in February 2008.
Timeline Career Patterns Initiative The Office of Personnel Management began the Career Patterns Initiative to find new approaches to bring the next generation into federal government positions. The initiative helped federal agencies promote “flexibilities,” including flexible work arrangements, part time employment, and mid-career entry.
Timeline Youthbuild Transfer Act The Youthbuild Transfer Act amended the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 to provide for a Youthbuild Program to give disadvantaged youth opportunities for employment, education, leadership development, and training. Additionally, this law promoted the rehabilitation or construction of housing for homeless individuals and low-income families. PL109-281
Timeline Employer Best Practices for Workers with Caregiving Responsibilities The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued the Employer Best Practices for Workers with Caregiving Responsibilities to give guidance on best practices that employers may adopt to reduce discrimination against caregivers.
Timeline Small Business and Work Opportunity Tax Act of 2007 The Small Business and Work Opportunity Tax Act of 2007 extended the Work Opportunity Tax Credit through August 31, 2011. PL110-28
Timeline Bipartisan Senate Study Group on Workplace Flexibility Co-chaired by Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Blanche Lincoln (D-AK), the Bipartisan Senate Study Group on Workplace Flexibility was established to explore the most up-to-date research, policy and business practices on flexible work arrangement. The Study Group also provided staff with an opportunity for meaningful discussion on how increased access to flexibility can help both businesses and employees.
Timeline Best of Congress 2008 Award Corporate Voices for Working Families and Working Mother Media, Inc. launched the inaugural Best of Congress Award to spotlight congressional leadership in working family issues. 24 Senators and Representatives were recognized for taking leadership on legislation supporting working families, promoting family-friendly policies, and providing workplace flexibility to their own employees via model office policies.
Timeline ADA Amendments Act of 2008 The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 expanded the definition of “disability” used in the Americans with Disabilities Act to encourage broad coverage for workers. PL 110-325
Timeline National Work and Family Month Designation The House of Representatives passed House Resolution 1440 by unanimous consent, designating October as National Work and Family Month.
Timeline 2008 Presidential Election This was the first Presidential Election with platforms on workplace flexibility from both parties. Republican Presidential Candidate John McCain announces he would create a National Commission on Workplace Flexibility and Choice and support Head Start. Democratic Presidential Candidate Barack Obama pledged to expand access to flexible work arrangements, paid sick days and leave, and make the federal government a model employer by allowing employees to request flexible arrangements.
Timeline Revised FMLA Regulations The Department of Labor promulgated revised FMLA regulations and the first FMLA regulations governing the military family leave provisions. The regulations follow a review of the agency’s experiences and over 15000 comments received in response to a 2006 Request for Information on the FMLA (RFI), which were summarized in a 2007 Report on the RFI .
Timeline Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 Amended several laws to allow challenges to compensation decisions to be brought when a victim becomes aware of the discrimination by changing the starting time from which the time limit on a claim is calculated. Previously, the time limit was calculated from the time of the first discriminatory act, without regard to when the employee learned about the discrimination. Now, time may be calculated from the distribution of each discriminatory check. PL111-2
Timeline White House Task Force on Middle Class Working Families Created The White House Task Force on Middle Class Working Families was created by Presidential Memorandum. Chaired by Vice President Joe Biden, the Task Force focused on expanding education and life-long training opportunities, improving the work-family balance, restoring labor standards, protecting the middle-class and working-class family incomes, and protecting retirement security.
Timeline American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Among other things, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 appropriated funding to the Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration. IIt also creates the Disconnected Youth Employer Tax Credit to allow companies to save up to $2,400 per employee for hiring “disconnected youth,” while at the same time tapping into a new talent pool and providing young adults with onramps to the labor force. PL111-5
Timeline White House Council on Women and Girls Created The White House Council on Women and Girls was created by Executive Order 13506. Chaired by senior advisor and assistant to the president for Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, Valerie Jarrett, the Council provided a coordinated federal response to the challenges faced by women and girls and to ensure that all agencies consider how their policies and programs impact women and families.
Timeline Serve America Act Among other things, the Serve America Act appropriated money to fund grant programs on workforce readiness and training. The law created an education corps to reach out to low income communities to increase student engagement and achievements for a higher graduation success rate. The law also established summer and mentoring programs for students to volunteer in their communities and earn funds for college tuition. PL111-13
Timeline First Lady Michelle Obama Speaks at Corporate Voices’ Eighth Annual Partners Meeting First Lady Obama urged companies to support working families with flexible work schedules, maternity leave, paid sick leave, and onsite childcare. The First Lady recognized best practice companies who are implementing flexibility programs that support the bottom line. In addition, Corporate Voices released its Innovative Workplace Flexibility Options for Hourly Workers report.
Timeline Bipartisan Senate Study Group on Workplace Flexibility The Bipartisan Senate Study Group on Workplace Flexibility asked selected advocacy groups to submit a short statement of their work-life priorities to help them work towards “expanding access to workplace flexibility [that] will result in better businesses, a stronger workforce and healthier families.”
Timeline National Work and Family Month 2009 October 2009 was designated as “National Work and Family Month.” The Senate and House of Representatives both recognized the importance of work schedules that allow employees to spend time with their families, to perform jobs productively, and to healthy families. The resolution urged public officials, employers, employees, and the general public to work together to achieve more balance between work and family. S. Res. 296, H.Res.768
Timeline Section 4207 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act A major health care reform bill, included amendments to the Fair Labor Standards Act. This section required employers to provide a place outside of public view within the worksite for employees to lactate. The employer must also allow for reasonable break times for breast milk expression for one year after the birth of the employee’s child each time the employee has the need to express milk. PL111-148
Timeline Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 Among other things, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 increased funds to community college and career training programs, reformed student loans to make tuition money more readily available, and increased caps on existing grant money available for other training and education programs. PL111-152
Timeline White House Forum on Workplace Flexibility The White House Forum on Workplace Flexibility brought individuals from the business community, policy experts, employees, and administration officials together to recognize best practices and find solutions to flexibility issues so that employees can meet the demands of their jobs and their families.
Timeline Council of Economic Advisors: Work-Life Balance and the Economics of Workplace Flexibility The Council of Economic Advisors also released Work-Life Balance and the Economics of Workplace Flexibility. This report on the economics of workplace flexibility documented changes in American society that increase the need for supportive flexibility policies, outlines some positive benefits of flexibility on businesses and the community, and calls for more data.
Timeline National Workplace Flexibility Campaign Launch: Ensuring Success for the 21st Century Announced at the White House Forum on Workplace Flexibility, this Corporate Voices led business challenge is a campaign to create broader awareness about the positive business and employee benefits of workplace flexibility. Businesses express support for workplace flexibility in their organizations and in the wider business community by signing a Statement of Support for Expanding Workplace Flexibility.
Timeline Best Companies for Hourly Workers Corporate Voices and Working Mother Media, Inc. launched the Best Companies for Hourly Workers Awards. The Awards highlighted companies with the most beneficial practices for hourly workers. Applicants were judged based on the provision of benefits, training, development and advancement programs, child care, and flexibility programs, among other things.
Timeline House Democratic Caucus Congressional Task Force on Competitiveness: Business Leaders Forum House Democratic Caucus Congressional Task Force on Competitiveness hosted a business leaders forum to devise ways to create good-paying jobs in industries of the future. The Congressional Task Force on Competitiveness hosted the forum to learn about issues that affect American competitiveness in order to create policies that encourage more jobs in America. Topics included education, trade, tax, infrastructure and how America can lead the world in innovation and economic prosperity.
Timeline White House Task Force on Middle Class Working Families The White House Task Force on Middle Class Working Families held a meeting to address efforts to help balance work and family life and close the gender pay gap. At the meeting, the White House launched a Work-Flex Event Starter Kit to bring the flexibility conversation to businesses, employees, and communities across the country.
Timeline 2010 Best of Congress Award The Best of Congress Awards were created and given out by Corporate Voices for Working Families in partnership with Working Mother Media, Inc. to highlight excellence in improving the lives of working families through legislation and advocacy as well as members who have model employment practices in their own small offices. 30 recipients from both sides of the aisle were recognized as being Best of Congress for Work-Life.
Timeline U.S. Senate Designates October 2010 as National Work and Family Month The Senate designated October 2010 as National Work and Family Month. This reflected a Senate recognition that flexible work schedules that allow employees to spend time with their families contribute to healthy families as well as job productivity. The Senate urged public officials, employers, employees, and the general public to work together to achieve more balance between work and family. S. Res.618
Timeline White House Summit on Community Colleges Chaired by Dr. Jill Biden, the White House Summit on Community Colleges brought leaders from community colleges, business, philanthropy, and the government together to discuss job training and other educational needs. At the Summit, the Department of Labor recognized community colleges as a key factor in our country’s secondary education system, and developer of marketable job skills in workers.
Timeline Corporate Voices publishes From an Ill-Prepared to a Well-Prepared Workforce: The Shared Imperatives for Employers and Community Colleges to Collaborate Corporate Voices publishes From an Ill-Prepared to a Well-Prepared Workforce: The Shared Imperatives for Employers and Community Colleges to Collaborate on October 15, 2010. This relates to Corporate Voices July 14, 2009 report, [The Ill-Prepared U.S. Workforce: Exploring the Challenges of Employer-Provided Workforce Readiness Training](The Ill-Prepared U.S. Workforce: Exploring the Challenges of Employer-Provided Workforce Readiness Training), which shows that U.S. employers continue to struggle with an ill-prepared workforce and new hires lack crucial basic and applied skills.
Timeline The National Dialogue on Workplace Flexibility The National Dialogue on Workplace Flexibility kicked off with an event in Dallas. Building on the momentum of the White House Forum on Workplace Flexibility, the Women’s Bureau of the Department of Labor are leading conversations across the country to discuss workplace flexibility with key stakeholders from the business community, academics, unions, government, and advocates.