U.S. Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif., chairs the Workforce Protections Subcommittee.

Bill Outlines DOL Work-Life Balance Award

Two top Democrats on the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee introduced H.R. 4855, the Work-Life Balance Award Act of 2010, on March 16. Any public or private employer except a federal agency could apply.

Two top Democrats on the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee, Californians Lynn Woolsey and George Miller, introduced H.R. 4855 last week. Thei Work-Life Balance Award Act of 2010 would establish an annual Work-Life Balance Award for employers with exemplary programs. It would be presented by the secretary of Labor based on recommendations from an appointed Work-Life Balance Advisory Board at the U.S. Department of Labor, which would post a list of winners on its Web site. Any public or private employer except a federal agency could apply for the award.

Woolsey chairs the Workforce Protections Subcommittee, which will hold a hearing on the bill starting at 10 a.m. March 23. Miller is the committee's chairman.

"Achieving a work-life balance is essential for families today," Woolsey said in a news release posted on the committee's site. "The Work-Life Balance Award will send a clear message to employers that the federal government recognizes companies that develop family-friendly policies for their workers."

The bill states that the advisory board would develop the award criteria. It also says the board will have nine members appointed by the secretary: a chair representing the public; one member representing a state or local government; one member representing a nonprofit employer; two members representing private industry or industry organizations; two members representing labor organizations; and two members representing families and children.

The bill also says when considering applications, the board would consider an employer's record of compliance, or noncompliance, with federal and state labor laws and should "seek input from all interested parties to assist in making a determination of the recipients of the Award, including input from stakeholders."

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