WASHINGTON -- President Clinton today ordered a ban on a ''glass ceiling for parents'' in the federal work force, meaning the government cannot discriminate against parents out of concern that home life will intrude on the workplace.
''Believe it or not, there are still some employers who are reluctant to hire or promote employees who have children at home,'' Clinton said at the start of a White House conference on helping families raise teen-agers.
''The job they are doing at home is more important,'' Clinton said, citing studies and a new poll that, he said, confirm that communication and family togetherness are crucial factors in raising happy teen-agers.
Clinton's executive order applies only to federal workers and does not require approval from Congress.
''Parents are still the most important adults in their teen-agers' lives,'' first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton said before introducing her ''co-parent'' in raising daughter Chelsea, 20, who left home three years ago for college.
Mrs. Clinton described occasional frustrations as she and the president dealt with Chelsea's teen-age ambivalence toward them. ''You want to hang around just in case they'll deign to say something to you,'' she said to laughter.
But she said the 30 minutes or so the three of them tried to spend having at least one meal together each day was her favorite part of the day.
Parents, teens, teachers, youth workers and others were invited to the daylong conference to discuss ways to raise and mentor responsible and resourceful youth.
Mrs. Clinton moderated two morning sessions, including one on what parents and communities can do to help teens succeed.
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