Jun 25 2014
The White House, in conjunction with the Center for American Progress, held the first ever Working Families Summit on Monday in Washington DC.
In a speech peppered with personal anecdotes about his own upbringing and stories about how he and First Lady Michelle Obama struggled with raising their own children, President Obama addressed the myriad pressures American workers face when dealing with childcare, maternity leave and flexible working hours.
Although Obama mentioned that the United States is one of only a handful of countries which offers no paid maternity leave for workers, he offered few concrete solutions to address the problem.
However, he did sign a presidential memo authorizing Labor Secretary Thomas Perez to spend $25 million to help provide child care for people who enroll in job training programs, as well as allowing more federal workers to have access to flexible working hours.
And, the President also endorsed a bill proposed by Democratic Senator Robert Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania that would protect pregnant women from being discriminated against in the work place.
Republicans criticized the Summit as being an election year ploy for Democrats to bolster support among women and maintain their seats in Congress.
GUEST: Ellen Bravo, Executive Director of Family Values @ Work, a national network of city and state coalitions
Visit www.familyvaluesatwork.org for more information.