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October 4, 2008

Joe Biden Feminism Watch: Biden the Boss

Joe Biden Feminism Watch #4

Towards the end of the VP debate, Joe Biden made the point that he knows how single and struggling parents in the country feel, since he had the personal experience of being a single father for five years after his wife and daughter were killed. We think it's important to recognize that Biden practices what he preaches when it comes to parent/family issues and managing his own staff. Over the summer, Working Mother magazine and the group Corporate Voices for Working Families chose Senator Biden as one of the recipients of their Best of Congress award for family-friendly policies. Their report, which can be downloaded from the Working Mother magazine site, gives us some info on how Joe Biden treats the people who work for him.


Senator Biden has 76 staffers, and 16 of those are working mothers. Biden's staffers get:
  • 8 days of paid sick leave
  • 15-26 days annual leave
  • 12 weeks of paid maternity leave
  • 4 weeks of paid paternity leave
  • additional unpaid leave beyond what the Family and Medical Leave Act mandates
  • telecommuting options
  • part time and 'compressed work week' options
  • bereavement leave
  • education benefits
And here's what the report has to say about Senator Biden's track record on family issues:

Senator Joe Biden (D-Delaware) believes that pursuing a career and raising a family should not be mutually exclusive goals, and he works extremely hard to help families balance their priorities - through legislative initiatives and his own office policies.

During his nearly 36 years in the Senate, Biden has been a champion for children’s health, safety and education, issues all in the forefront of improving the lives of working families. For instance, he worked with Senator Patty Murray (D-Washington) on the Facilitating Outstanding Classrooms Using Size Reduction (FOCUS) Act, a way to hire more teachers and reduce class sizes. The senator was also one of the leading speakers on behalf of the Employee Free Choice Act, letting his fellow lawmakers know how important the legislation is for America’s working families.

Biden is a committed advocate for working families and working parents, believing that flexible scheduling is essential to helping his 76 staffers manage their responsibilities at home and in the office. Quite simply, his staff benefits - as do the residents of Delaware who look to the senator and his staff for a host of services, support and help.

Having three children of his own, Biden knows that being a working parent may not fit the traditional 9-to-5 work schedule. Consequently, the senator has made many special arrangements with staffers, particularly those with young families, that include flexible hours and compressed workweeks. Biden’s office also encourages staff members to take advantage of personal and professional development opportunities, encouraging them to take additional courses to expand their skills.


I wonder if he's hiring.


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