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Bank of America wins 2000 Family Friendly Business Awards

Published 05-16-00

Submitted by Bank of America Corporation

Bank of America was named the large business winner of the 2000 Family Friendly Business Awards last week in Tampa. The Family Friendly Business Awards were developed by Nova Southeastern University's Family Center of Tampa Bay. The awards selection committee is comprised of a coalition of local business and nonprofit representatives who select finalists and winners based on criteria developed by the committee.

"We are very proud to have been selected for this award," said Alex Sink, Florida president for Bank of America. "We know we must provide an environment where associates can focus on customers and results. We provide a broad range of resources and choices to help associates balance the sometimes conflicting responsibilities of work and family life. This makes Bank of America a special place, for our associates and our customers."

Awards finalists for the Family Friendly Business Awards receive site visits before the winners are chosen. The site visits allow the committee members to get a better sense of the company's environment and how family friendly practices are implemented.

During the evaluation process, the selection committee visited a Bank of America customer call center in Tampa and spoke with several bank associates about their individual experiences utilizing the Bank of America Work/Life programs. The bank designed the programs to assist employees in handling family issues. (See the list below of the Bank of America Work/Life programs).

One of the associates who spoke to the awards selection committee had utilized many of the bank's Work/Life programs as she encountered several hardships in her personal life. She utilized the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) due to a domestic violence situation that she faced at home and also due to a healthcare situation that involved her child. Before finding the EAP, her work performance declined and her supervisor noticed and asked if she could help. After discussing the employee's personal situations, her supervisor put her in touch with the EAP.

"The EAP program was such a blessing for me," said the associate who asked that her name not be included. "With the help of the EAP, I found many resources that helped me improve my own life and the life of my child. I am grateful." Now, her work performance has dramatically improved and she is performing at a very high level.

"The programs and choices we provide for our associates allow them to be the kind of people who make Bank of America a special place. If we take care of our associates, they will take care of our customers and in turn our shareholders," said Sink.

Bank of America Work/Life programs include:

LifeWorks(R), a resource and referral program, provides practical advice, resources, consultations and seminars from experts who can help associates manage their work and personal responsibilities. Subjects include child care, elder care and how to take better care of themselves.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides confidential, short-term counseling for problems involving stress, family, mental health and alcohol or drug abuse. EAP also provides professional legal advice by telephone from experienced attorneys.

Hardship Grants are available to associates experiencing unusual hardship due to illness or other emergencies.

Adoption Reimbursement provides associates with up to $4,000 financial assistance to help cover adoption expenses.

Child Care Plus helps associates pay for child care expenses. Depending on the associate's eligibility, Bank of America will reimburse up to $152 per month per child.

Dependent Care Reimbursement Account makes it possible for associates to pay for dependent care with before-tax dollars. During annual benefits enrollment, associates can determine the amount of money deducted from their paychecks.

Dependent Care Programs provide community-based programs for associates' needs, such as backup child care and summer camps.

Child Care Centers provide on-site or near-site child care in five communities for Bank of America parents.

Tuition Reimbursement is a program for all associates that helps pay for college tuition and tuition-related expenses, up to $2,000 per calendar year for undergraduate courses and $4,000 taxable for graduate courses. Courses do not need to be job-related.

Joe Martin Scholarship Program offers financial assistance for college or vocational school to dependent children of associates who have been employed at Bank of America for at least one year.

Matching Gifts encourages associates to contribute to qualifying nonprofit organizations of their choice.

Team Bank of America provides associates with personal and professional development, as well as volunteering and networking opportunities outside the workplace. Team Bank of America has six networks: the Diversity Network, Volunteer Network, Speaking Network, Recreation Network, Retiree Network and Environmental Network.

Volunteer Time for Schools provides an opportunity for full-time associates to volunteer up to two hours a week of paid time in public or private schools. Associates must meet with their manager to discuss the proposed schedule for regular volunteer time each week.

Flexible work arrangements allows associates and their managers to define when and where the associate works and includes FlexTime, job sharing, part time and telecommuting.

Time off -- Bank of America offers both paid and unpaid time that associates can take off from work. Programs include leaves, occasional days, personal choice days, vacation and holidays.
Bank of America, with $656 billion in assets, is the largest bank in the United States. It has full-service operations in 21 states and the District of Columbia and provides financial products and services to 30 million households and two million businesses, as well as providing international corporate financial services for business transactions in 190 countries. The company's stock (ticker: BAC) is listed on the New York, Pacific, and London stock exchanges, and certain shares are listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

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