Tuition assistance. Free onsite childcare. Medical bill coverage. Free gym membership. These are items on the wish list of every employee. For some of us full-time, salaried employees, these wishes may be granted. It is a rarity, however, for companies to provide comprehensive benefits – health care related and beyond – to part-time and hourly workers.
Working Mother Media, publisher of Working Mother Magazine, honored twelve companies that go above and beyond to meet the needs of all their employees, including hourly workers. Carol Evans, president of Working Mother Media, applauded the award recipients for offering company incentives to a portion of the country’s 73 million hourly workers during the awards luncheon at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC Tuesday.
“Every employee in this country should have the flexibility, respect and career pathing they need,” Evans opined, adding that working mothers, in particular, want to combine being the best at work with being the best mothers at home. A sentiment the honorees echo in their company policies and procedures.
The honorees, who answered a detailed query with more than 400 questions to be considered for the award, all had baseline criteria in common: tuition reimbursement, paid job training, career advancement, training during work hours, health care coverage, access to nutrition education, referral services for elder care, and hourly pay during lactation breaks.
Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis delivers keynote
United States Secretary of Labor, Hilda L. Solis, underscored the importance of employers supporting and providing opportunities for hourly workers. The keynote speaker stressed that companies must meet the needs of all employees.
“(The honorees) are changing the course of our history by leading by example,” said Secretary Solis, citing the living wages, access to educational opportunities, and flexible schedules the companies honored provide to employees.
Reflecting upon her own mother’s experiences as an hourly worker, Secretary Solis said “Every working mom should have the tools she needs to be successful” in the workplace. According to Secretary Solis, the Department of Labor has made progress in adopting policies to support workers, including the new break time law, which allows women to breast feed children in a safe, private environment at work; partnerships with organized labor and corporations; and, launching an effort to boost summer youth employment.
Previewing a report from the Department of Labor out today on how women are faring in the workplace, Secretary Hilda L. Solis ventured “Our work isn’t done. We have just begun to invigorate the Department of Labor to bring everyone together.”
The Best Companies for Hourly Workers
Awards were presented to 12 companies during the luncheon. Recipients include Best Buy, Bon Secours Richmond Health Systems, Inc., Carlson, Inc., Capital One Financial Corporation, Cricket Communications, Marriott International, Inc., McDonald’s Corporation, Sodexo, University of New Mexico Hospitals, University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics, USAA, and Valassis Communications, Inc.
Ashlee Haskins, who works in nutrition services at Bon Secours in Richmond, VA, enthused about the company, an honoree during yesterday’s event. “Everyone is helpful and friendly,” Haskins said, adding that Bon Secours provides “a laundry list of opportunities” for employees, including health care and learning opportunities.
The University of New Mexico Hospitals, another award recipient, spends $1 million each year on tuition reimbursement, according to James Pendergast, Human Resources Administrator, who accepted the award on behalf of UNM.
In all, the companies recognized for their workplace policies and treatment of hourly employees represent more than 300,000 of America’s workforce, part-time and full-time. Combined, they spend millions on health care coverage, tuition assistance, and training opportunities.
The Working Mother Media awards luncheon is an annual event. For more information, or to nominate an employer next year, visit www.workingmother.com.
View event photos