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Obama encouraging family-friendly work policies

By The Associated Press

This article was published June 23, 2014 at 10:15 a.m.

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is encouraging more employers to adopt family-friendly policies by hosting a day-long summit Monday, even though the U.S. government doesn't always set the best example.

The United States is the only industrialized nation that doesn't mandate paid leave for mothers of newborns, although Obama says he'd like to see that change.

"Only three countries in the world report that they don't offer paid maternity leave — three — and the United States is one of them," Obama said in his weekly address. "It's time to change that. A few states have acted on their own to give workers paid family leave, but this should be available to everyone, because all Americans should be able to afford to care for a family member in need."

Obama's summit comes in a midterm election year focused in many respects on women voters, and the White House was devoting all its star power to the event — and even a surprise appearance by a celebrity to echo Obama's criticism of Mad Men policies in today's workplace. Christina Hendricks, who plays single mom Joan on the AMC drama that takes place at a 1960s ad firm, said, "In the 21st century the only place for a story like Joan's should be on TV."

Obama planned to speak midday and have a meeting with business leaders. First lady Michelle Obama planned to deliver a closing speech, while Vice President Joe Biden opened the event by talking about the value of family time. "Not all of us have the kind of flexibility that I have," Biden said.

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bbos42 says... June 23, 2014 at 11:36 a.m.

Most of the MAD MEN are in the White House and Senate!

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aimee says... June 23, 2014 at 1:03 p.m.

I'm so proud of the common sense aspirations of our President..!!!
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"A few states have acted on their own to give workers paid family leave, but this should be available to everyone, because all Americans should be able to afford to care for a family member in need."
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Those who don't want this to be a "government" program need to support raising the minimum wage to a living wage... Stop the greed at the top..!!!

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Firefighter says... June 23, 2014 at 1:28 p.m.

Just where does he get his "facts"????? Only three? Bull! Another lie.

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HotSpringsLawyer says... June 23, 2014 at 2:35 p.m.

How many are there really then?

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djigoo says... June 23, 2014 at 3:36 p.m.

Ixnay on the ogic-lay, HSL.

Baggers hate that shizznit.

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lazybar says... June 23, 2014 at 4:38 p.m.

aimmee you what? obozo could sell you a pinto for the price of a caddy and you would still be happy. we have told and showed you why your living wage does not work. and why should employers be forced to pay you to have a child you probably can`t support anyways?

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Packman says... June 23, 2014 at 4:45 p.m.

"Christina Hendricks, who plays single mom Joan on the AMC drama that takes place at a 1960s ad firm, said, "In the 21st century the only place for a story like Joan's should be on TV." By all means let's bring in the experts to discuss the subject and not resort to fictional accounts by trained actors reading their lines from a teleprompter. Everyone knows EVERYTHING on Mad Men is the gospel truth! I recall the scene of the guy getting his foot cut off in the office by the riding lawnmower. There isn't an ad agency in New York where that hasn't happened! And what about the guy committing suicide I his office? Happens almost constantly in the ad business. Beautiful young women having sex with nerdy looking guys (with all due respect to Pete Campbell) - typical 1960's America. $hit, you can believe EVERYTHING that you see on Mad Men because Christina "DD" Hendricks says you can, including that time she slept with that married man to secure his business. You show me just one ad agency where a busty female hasn't slept with a guy strictly for business and I'll show you an ad agency that isn't operating the way all the rest of them did in 1969.
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At least there will be no questions about credibility at the summit, considering all the experts deal in make-believe.......

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NoUserName says... June 23, 2014 at 5:17 p.m.

Typical Obama. In only TWENTY-SIX percent of countries offering paid maternity is the employer responsible. FIFTY-THREE percent of countries it's the guv that foots the bill. The remainder is a combo of some sort. Obama is free to have the Feds foot the bill like the majority of countries that offer paid maternity. Nah, he'd rather just have a dog and pony show telling employers they should eat the cost.

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nwar says... June 23, 2014 at 7:03 p.m.

So nousername, then you are in favor of the government providing paid maternity leave? Do I have that right? Let's see the guys that don't want employers to have to pay for maternity leave, don't want government to pay for it either. They also don't want to pay for welfare benefits for the mother-to-be that can't work. But they don't want to allow these mothers-to-be to have free contraception or have abortions either. I know, poor people shouldn't be allowed to have sex, right? At least we are not Afghanistan yet, but conservatives would like to us to be.

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RonalFos says... June 23, 2014 at 8:16 p.m.

The world’s sole superpower requires the same level of paid maternity benefits as fellow economic powerhouses Swaziland, Lesotho and Papua New Guinea. That is to say, zilch.

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