Family Values @ Work

Georgia activist featured in NPR story about flexible work policies

March 17, 2010

Vickie Underwood, a leader of 9to5 and the Atlanta coalition that’s part of the Family Values @ Work consortium, was featured on an NPR broadcast today about the need for flexibility in low-wage jobs. After working a full shift, Vickie needed to register her children for school. Her boss

insisted she stay for another three hours — the kind of overtime Vickie had done many times in her 22 years with the company. When she explained why she couldn’t stay that day, she was shocked to find herself fired. “My family was like: ‘Huh? How could this happen?’ And it was almost like, ‘No, they had to fire her for something other than her kid,'” Underwood says.

As Joan Williams, head of the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California, put it, “There’s a lot of flexibility in those jobs, but it’s called quitting.” Some employers are adapting new models, however. For the complete broadcast, go to:

NPR reporter Jennifer Ludden also reported on the growing demand for flexible work arrangements,, and a model Results Only workplace:

As our FV@W agenda says, all workers deserve predictability and a measure of control over their schedules — including an end to mandatory overtime. For more on Vickie’s story and on the agenda, read our report, Family Values @ Work: It’s About Time!



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