January 3, 2023
By Elizabeth Rivera, Senior Director of Operations & HR
If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice is thrilled to announce that we will transition to a four-day work week beginning right now, January 2023.
This decision comes off an incredible year of growth, learning, and adjustments to our internal culture around exploring “what does working sustainably look like?” From navigating how much our world has changed because of the covid pandemic, to continued social and racial injustices, and now living in a post-Dobbs reality, we at If/When/How are making a commitment to our staff to provide a workplace that lives its values in practice and not theory.
Our staff spoke, and we listened! We often survey our staff about how the organization can support them and their work, and the staff overwhelmingly voted for a four-day work week.
At If/When/How, we support, organize, and defend for reproductive justice. And that means we strive to meet the needs of those most impacted – those marginalized, criminalized and at the intersections of the law and reproductive autonomy – and this work is ever-changing, ever-evolving, and both incredibly hard and equally fulfilling.
And it is our staff—the humans behind the work—that put all their expertise, knowledge, passion, and values into everything they do in service of those that need us most. In order to maintain our commitment to providing a sustainable and balanced workplace filled with agency, autonomy, and flexibility, we want to ‘walk the walk’ and provide our staff with what they deem to be a way to support what a real, tangible work-life balance is to each and every person that lends their time to work for us and in service of our mission.
I also want to acknowledge that not every person on staff will be able to use our four-day work week in exactly the same way. The Repro Legal Helpline will still be open for anyone who has questions about abortion and the laws in their state, and the Repro Legal Defense Fund will still be open for funding bail. We’re working with these staff members so that they have a shortened work week in a way that works for them.
As a human resources professional, I come from a deep-rooted place of dismantling the white-supremacist frameworks that have historically been the hallmark of HR that as a community, especially in the social justice and reproductive justice spaces, we have internalized, feared, and frankly mistrusted and rightfully so. But, at If/When/How, we are reclaiming human resources for what it should be: resources for the humans behind the work. It should be a space where each person can thrive, live, and where an organization can meet our staff to create both impactful change in our community and also make employees feel seen, heard, and valued.
This is what progressive HR looks like for If/When/How and we will continue to listen to our employees and partner with them on sustainability efforts in the workplace. Here’s to three-day weekends, playing with your children and fur babies, naps on Friday afternoons, rest, and restoration!