Jodie Levin-Epstein

Jodie Levin-Epstein is a senior policy analyst at the Center for Law and Social Policy.

Recent Articles

Responsive Workplaces

More and more, working parents have dual -- and dueling -- responsibilities on the job and at home. Yet today's workplace often seems stuck in a time warp, modeled for Ward and June Cleaver when the reality feels more like television's Survivor. Some employers have adapted and made their workplaces responsive to working parents. Flexible scheduling that considers employee preference and paid time off, for example, have helped those who constantly juggle work and home. Often, such measures have benefited the employers, too, demonstrating that businesses can do well by doing good. A business case for work/life balance is important, because commerce is not built on altruism. But will such evidence prompt all firms to rush to implement responsive workplaces and become "high road" employers? Hardly. As long as companies can make a profit riding the low road, many will feel no compulsion to change. Further, outmoded assumptions -- that low-wage workers are expendable, for example, despite...

Reproductive Roulette

I n 1996 the newly Republican Congress approved nearly $440 million in public funds over five years to teach celibacy. The law comes up for renewal next year. The local programs supported under this legislation teach that abstinence is the only appropriate way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Indeed, the limited information about contraceptives permitted in such classes emphasizes contraceptive failure rates. Under the program's key elements, states may only fund classes that teach that: Premarital sex is wrong . It is "likely" to be both psychologically and physically damaging. Sex is for the self-sufficient . Sexual activity is appropriate upon the attainment of "self-sufficiency"--presumably a measure of economic status. Since the law is silent on the definition of self-sufficiency, the income that a couple needs to achieve before sexual relations become appropriate is ambiguous. Abstinence is ageless. Only the married should have sex. Since marriage...