[Excerpt] We at the Department of Labor strive to fulfill our vision of promoting and protecting opportunity for all workers and employers, understanding that the issues that working families face are nationwide, and therefore require nationwide insight from working families and employers. That is why this spring, the Women’s Bureau convened forums and roundtables in cities across the United States. These events brought together high-ranking Administration officials; researchers; advocates; businesses; unions; and federal, state and local elected officials and generated conversations about the challenges working families face, successful business practices, and the administration’s goals for addressing these issues.
Some themes emerged repeatedly: We heard that workers need better wages to achieve economic security and flexible leave policies that allow them to balance the demands of work and family. We also heard that access to paid leave and sick days, equal pay, job training and affordable child care benefit families and businesses, which see boosts to employee morale, productivity and retention in conjunction with implementation of policies that support working families.