Scholarly Article
The Coronavirus & Work–life Inequality: Three Evidence-based Initiatives to Update U.S. Work-life Employment Policies
Behavioral Science and Policy
July 22, 2020

Kossek, E. E., & Lee, K.-H. (2020). The coronavirus & work–life inequality: Three
evidence-based initiatives to update U.S. work–life employment policies. Behavioral
Science & Policy. Retrieved from

Here is the abstract of our new article.

The coronavirus crisis has illuminated how poorly the United States compares to other major industrialized nations in providing workers across all industries equal access to paid sick and family leave, employee-requested flexible scheduling, and reasonable work hours. Many essential workers in frontline jobs (health care, food services, and public safety) have been unable to access benefits that support work-life balance and that play a critical role in managing job stress and employee health. At the same time, many nonessential workers (disproportionately women) who can telecommute to prevent exposure have been left juggling a demanding job while also caring for children, elders, or others at home. We propose three evidence-based national initiatives that would improve U.S. work-life policy: ensure employee access to and ability to use paid sick and family care leave; mandate that employers create emergency back-up staffing infrastructures; and provide employees the right to request flexible and reasonable work hours. These work-life policies are based on principles of balanced flexibility that benefit employers, employees, and society as a whole.