Off-Balance: Obama and the Work-Family Agenda

76 Pages Posted: 25 Mar 2014 Last revised: 7 Jul 2015

Date Written: Spring 2012


During his bid for the Presidency, Barack Obama specifically identified work-family conflict as a key issue that would receive attention and reform if he became President. After entering the White House, President Obama continued to consistently articulate that work-family balance issues were a priority for America's families and for his administration. In May 2011, the President reaffirmed his dedication to the issues that face working parents, stating that his administration was, "striving to help mothers in the workplace by enforcing equal pay laws and addressing workplace flexibility as families balance the demands of work, child and elder care, and education."

Obama recognized the challenges America's working families faced due to work-family conflict. Nevertheless, as Obama's first term comes to a close, it is apparent that he failed to take action to strengthen work-family balance. As a result, little has changed for those struggling to combine paid market and family care work. This article will provide a descriptive account of the Obama administration's record regarding work-family balance.

Keywords: work-family balance, work-family conflict, working parents, paid leave programs, FMLA, gender, economic security, mothers, caregivers, discrimination in employment, pay equity, flexible work hours, early childhood eduation, retirement savings incentives, breastfeeding policies

Suggested Citation

Kitchen, Rona Kaufman, Off-Balance: Obama and the Work-Family Agenda (Spring 2012). Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal, Vol. 16, No. 1, 2012, Duquesne University School of Law Research Paper No. 2014-01, Available at SSRN: or

Rona Kaufman Kitchen (Contact Author)

Duquesne University - School of Law ( email )

600 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15282
United States

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