For teaching purposes, this is the case-only version of the HBR case study. The commentary-only version is reprint R0103Z. The complete case study and commentary is reprint R0103A. Please don't tell me that I need to have a baby to have this time off. Those words were still ringing in the ears of Jessica Gonon an hour after a tense meeting with Jana Rowe, one of her key account managers. Jessica, the vice president of sales and customer support at Clarity Base, considered Jana's request for a four-day workweek, for which she was willing to take a corresponding 20% cut in pay. Although the facts seemed simple, the situation was anything but. Just last week, Davis Bennett, another account manager, had made a similar request. Both Jana and Davis were well aware that Megan Flood, another account manager, had been working a reduced schedule for nearly two years in order to spend more time with her children. The eight account managers were in charge of helping the company's largest clients install and maintain database applications, which often required hand-holding and coddling. Because Megan had an abbreviated schedule, the other account managers were assigned the more difficult clients. But if Jessica agreed to a shorter workweek for Jana and Davis, who would take on the toughest customers? And what would happen if the other account managers started asking for similar deals? How can Jessica maintain the productivity of her department and meet her staff's needs for flexible work schedules while striking an equitable solution for both parents and non parents? In R0103A and R0103Z, Michele S. Darlin, Chris Dineen, Elinor Burkett, and Stewart D. Friedman advise Jessica on her next move on this fictional case study.
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