Chic Spotlight: HR Expert Dr. Linda Gravett

Chic Spotlight: HR Expert Dr. Linda Gravett
Working moms can make their jobs work for them. One local expert shares some tips on how
companies today are working more and more with parents' schedules.
090610SPOTLIGHT.jpgCincy Chic
: Your company, Just the Basics, specializes in human resource management, so how did you first decide to get into HR?


Dr. Linda Gravett, president and CEO of Just the Basics: I was working in a small, growing company in an accounting position. The company needed an HR Manager and I was bored with accounting, so I talked the president into hiring me into HR even though I had no formal training in the field at that time. I really enjoyed the work and decided to stay in HR, and I returned to college for a graduate degree in labor and employment relations.


Cincy Chic: This is for our Working Moms issue, so from an HR perspective, what are some common practices and policies working mothers should know?


Gravett: You should not be shy about asking for work-life balance arrangements such as flexible scheduling, telecommuting, or job-sharing (where two people share a full time position and each works part-time). Many jobs today can be accomplished in a home office or outside the typical nine-to-five work day.


Cincy Chic: What advice do you have for women looking to find out more about their own companies' policies? What questions should they ask?


Gravett: The role of the human resources department is to provide employees with information about the company's benefits and policies, so do visit HR reps whenever you have a question or suggestion about your job or company policies. Key questions to ask include:

  • May I have a copy of the company's policy manual?
  • How does my job support the mission, vision and values of the company?
  • When will I receive written evaluations and from whom?
  • What do I need to do to have a mentor from inside or outside the company?
  • What are options for ensuring work-life balance for working moms in this company?


Cincy Chic: The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks a year of unpaid, job-protected time off for specified family and medical reasons. So why should Cincy Chic readers know about this federal act? And what should they know about it?


Gravett: Readers should know about this act because it’s a job protection benefit for them as individuals in the event they, or a close family member, become ill. The basic tenets of this law are:

  • Mandates that employers offer unpaid, job-protected leave for up to 12 weeks a year.
  • Purpose of the leave is to care for a new child; adoption or placement of a child in foster care; care for a seriously ill family member (spouse, child or parent); recover from one’s own illness; care for an injured service member in the family.
  • Employees are guaranteed restoration to the same position they left when they return to work. If the same position is not available, employer must provide the employee with a position substantially equal in pay, benefits and responsibility.
  • This law applies only to companies that have 50 or more employees, although this minimum threshold does not apply to public agencies.


Cincy Chic: Human resources aside, what do you like to do for fun?


Gravett: Check out restaurants all around the city and go antiquing with friends.


Cincy Chic: What do you love most about Cincinnati?


Gravett: The diversity of neighborhoods: all unique and special. There's something new to explore every weekend!

Photographer: Neysa Ruhl
Model: Dr. Linda Gravett

Linda Palacios -

Linda Palacios is the editor of Cincy Chic. Send her an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .Read More >>

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