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Is working nine-to-five becoming a thing of the past? It appears that it will be if President Barack Obama has his way—at least for some employees. Emphasizing the need to ensure that federal employees can balance their responsibilities at work and home, Obama recently issued a memorandum to federal agencies directing them to let their employees know they have the right to request schedule flexibilities. He issued it in June, following a daylong White House Summit on Working Families, where he praised the efforts of several high-profile companies that have adopted family-friendly best practices. The president’s memorandum only impacts employees of federal agencies; federal law currently does not require private (nongovernmental) employers to consider or grant a request for a flexible working arrangement (FWA). Although legislation has been introduced in Congress that would give employees the right to request such a schedule, it is unlikely to be enacted in the near future in light of the current congressional stalemate.

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