USPTO Offers New Quality Of Work Life Initiatives

Press Release

Brigid Quinn

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has announced a number of new programs, collectively known as Day Two Initiatives, designed to improve the quality of the work life for its employees.

  • Starting on October 22, 2000, the USPTO will further expand its flextime policy, allowing full-time employees to complete the basic 80 hours bi-week in less than 10 full workdays. Employees can work the required minimum of 4 workdays per week any time between 5:30 a.m. and 10:00 p.m., seven days a week.
  • On October 10, the agency extended its casual dress policy from just Fridays to every work day. USPTO employees can now wear either regular business attire or casual attire appropriate for a business setting throughout the year.
  • On October 1, USPTO increased the monthly mass transit subsidy for employees to $65, the maximum allowed under President Clinton's recent executive order. Nearly half of USPTO's almost 6,500 employees take advantage of the subsidy, helping to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution and allowing the agency to support the Federal Employees Clean Air Incentives Act and the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century.
  • The agency is also now allowing employees to make their own business cards using office supplies and equipment and there are plans to offer employees an option to purchase new personal home computers directly from USPTO's vendor at discounted prices.

"As part of the agency's designation as a performance-based organization six months ago, USPTO management and the agency's three labor unions announced several Day One Initiatives that showed the trust we place in our employees. The success of those programs--eliminating sign-in/out sheets, expanding flextime, and establishing casual dress Fridays--formed the platform for these new initiatives," said Q. Todd Dickinson, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. "I believe the Day Two Initiatives will help make USPTO an even better place to work, while still allowing us to meet the needs of our customers."

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