Synopsis By: Lurie - Proceeding Author: Joan C. Williams

The article examines 78 arbitration decisions that weigh the employer’s right to discipline for absenteeism against the employee’s family care-giving responsibilities. It places such absences in demographic context; examines when lack of child care is treated as a legitimate excuse for absence, describes communication problems regarding work-family conflicts; assesses the assumption that employer responsiveness to employees’ family needs jeopardize effectiveness and profitability; and examines overall patterns of arbitration decisions, describing those circumstances under which management has prevailed, and those in which the employee has prevailed.