Worklife Policy Timeline: Family & Economic Stability

  • 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).
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 The Job Training Partnership Act later repealed this law.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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)
  • 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
  • Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

    This law prohibits discrimination in employment based on disability. 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 .
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.