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Apr 16, 4:01 PM EDT

Obama recognizes a dozen ordinary people for 'extraordinary' work benefiting working families

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama has recognized a dozen people who he says have done extraordinary things to help working families.

The group recognized at a White House ceremony Thursday included a Berkeley, California, woman whose efforts helped get paid family leave for workers in the state. A Bismarck, North Dakota, woman heads an organization that pushed for a law requiring reasonable accommodations for pregnant women at work.

Obama was introduced by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. The software company recently announced that it will push its U.S. suppliers to give paid time off to its employees that do work for Microsoft.

Obama says family friendly policies are a must because they help attract "brilliant and hardworking talent" - the key to staying competitive in a global economy.

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