Moving on Up -- and Out

The acceptance of a job opportunity by a company executive depended on the potential relocation assistance offered to the woman's mother-in-law.

This article accompanies And Mother, Too.

Thursday, April 1, 2010
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For Denise Biehl, the term "immediate family" describes her husband Zach, three-year-old daughter Dalby, one-year-old son Dylan, and her mother-in-law Linda, who's in her late 60s.

Biehl currently serves as ADP's vice president of insurance services in the company's West region, but she was offered the chance to relocate from her home in Costa Mesa, Calif., to Pittsburgh -- where she could build her own sales team from scratch.

"I never thought I'd have the opportunity to do something this exciting and when the opportunity was presented I was really excited about it. It's a really great opportunity," says Biehl.

But, any deal would have to include Linda.

Biehl and her husband have been living with Linda -- a widow -- for quite some time and wouldn't have it any other way. They help take care of her and she helps take care of the kids.

Leaving Linda behind would have been a deal-breaker.

"She is really vital to our family unit," says Biehl. "She helps us with child care and it allows us to not have our kids in daycare full time, which is wonderful."

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So ADP agreed to move her along with the rest of the family and even included her in as much of the process as possible -- from house-hunting trips to pre-move counseling sessions.

"I don't ever want her to feel like she's not part of what we're doing," says Biehl. "It relieves so much stress and concern because she knows that she's part of the decision making."

Rebecca Kirschbaum, ADP's senior director of corporate relocation and real-estate assistance, says that relocating employees have only asked the company to help with elder-care issues a handful of times -- but such assistance can be very valuable.

"The family is a critical component of people being happy and having a sense of well being when they go to work," she says.

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