SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)- Business leaders from the Bay Area joined US Labor Secretary Hilda Solis in Southern California Thursday to discuss workplace flexibility for hourly employees. That’s because many workers in lower paying jobs are afraid to take time off for child care or other issues.

The Southern California conference focused on the issues that might compel workers to take time off including family medical leave, paid leave, and workplace flexibility.

KCBS’ Melissa Culross Reports:

Solis said that workplace flexibility is nothing new or novel.

“Many of our public and government institutions already do this, they allow for flexibility and telecommuting and other incentives,” said Solis.

The Family and Medical Leave Act does offer many workers 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for children or family members, but what Solis and representatives from Intel, Kaiser Permanente and San Francisco’s Zazie Restaurant discussed, are solutions for longer term flexibility needs. Solis says that offering flexibility to hourly employees who may be afraid to ask for time off is not overly costly.

“The feedback that we are getting is that actually there is more productivity, and it isn’t an expense on the ledger for the business,” said Solis.

The Department of Labor is holding forums across the country to discuss workplace flexibility.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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