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Work Life Balance Essay

4669 words - 19 pages

Abstract
Work-life balance effects families all over America. This paper examines many contributing factors that determine the work life balance of families and they include ethnicity, social status, type of work, work leave policies, flexibility of employers, and what industry employees are employed in. There are few government regulations that help with the work-life balance of employees. Most of the work-life balance decisions are made by the employee’s family structure and employers policies. When there are work life imbalances stress, spillover, and burnout occur at work and also effect the family. This literature review aims at looking at all the factors that contribute to the growing ...view middle of the document...

During the 1980’s employment of women increased and some men started to stay at home, and some companies started supporting more flextime policies (Moen, 2011). In the 1990’s more laws passed to support women joining the workforce.
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) went into effect February 5, 1993 giving leave to employees for certain circumstances but the act only applies to companies with 50 or more employees (Colopy & Dielman, 2009). This law gives the right to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for the employee. The government put FMLA into law, but many other states have taken FMLA a step further and have varying laws that help with work-life balance. Two states California (2004) and New Jersey (2008) have mandated paid maternity leave for employees (Rossin, 2011).
Many countries have better leave policies when compared to the US. People in Sweden have the opportunity to take 12 months of paid leave (Rossin, 2011). Germany offers 14 weeks of paid leave and the UK offers 52 weeks of leave with 39 weeks paid (Carnes & Williamson, 2013). Some studies have indicated that democracy, conservative evangelical Christianity and the lack of women government leaders are the reason why US polices are behind other countries (Carnes & Williamson, 2013). In the 1990’s FMLA made little impact of rectifying the work-life balance issue in the US.
World economies and globalization in the 2000’s give more issues to the work-life balance. More technology makes it easier for people to get in touch with one another and do business. Traditional families continue to be fewer and fewer and there are more dual earner families. Workers started to deal with burnout, work overload, uncertainty, time pressures, and economic uncertainty (Moen, 2011). A global recession brought more unemployment and uncertainty. This puts more pressure on families and companies to try and balance work and family life.
Family Standards
The family plays a huge role in the work-life balance issue. The family dynamics dictate how much stress the family will have. The family structure and whether kids are involved are big indicators of whether the family will have stress because of work-life balance. Multiple family structures exist such as the traditional family, dual earner, single parent, and same sex. Another big factor when talking about families are the social status, ethnicity, and education of the family. All these family factors indicate the degree a family will have stress because of the work-life balance.
Dual Earner
Americans continue to transition to a dual earner household where the mother and father both have jobs. Jang (2009) states, “78% of employees are living in dual earner families in 2002, up from 66% in 1977” (p. 93). These families tend to have more issues especially when children are introduced to the family. Many times the family will rely on childcare to take care of the children during the day. This can have varying effects on the emotions of children. According...

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