work

Seattle Municipal Archives / Creative Commons

A 1965 Senate subcommittee predicted that Americans would work 14-hour weeks by the year 2000. Needless to say, their prediction was a little off. Fifty years later, the five-day, 40-hour work week remains the standard here in the U.S. 

Dustin Chambers / Propublica

Most of us don’t know much about Workers’ Compensation until we need it -- and your experience will depend a lot on where you live. 

Caps on benefits and higher bars to qualify as “injured” are a few of the changes made in most states beginning in the 1990’s to lower the cost of Workers’ Compensation. 

Employers say the program costs too much for them to remain competitive, and convinced legislators and unions on both sides of the aisle to reduce benefits.

Dustin Chambers / ProPublica

Most of us don’t know much about Workers’ Compensation until we need it - and your experience will depend a lot on where you live. 

Caps on benefits and higher bars to qualify as “injured” are a few of the changes made in most states beginning in the 1990’s to lower the cost of Workers’ Compensation. 

Employers say the program costs too much for them to remain competitive, and convinced legislators and unions on both sides of the aisle to reduce benefits. 

Living the Freelancer Life

May 5, 2015
Creative Commons / Markus Spiske, raumrot.com

We all know that the days of punching our clock for exactly forty hours is over. One of the alternatives that has risen in its place is what's called the "gig economy": Americans are casting off the traditional full-time job to freelance, moonlight, and temp their way to financial success.

PDPhoto.org / wikimedia

WNPR’s Business Desk has a tradition at this time of year of asking our contributors from around the state to reflect on the year just past, and make a few predictions for the future. 

Alex / Creative Commons

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 was designed to close the wage gap between men and women. More than 50 years later, however, discrimination against female workers continues to persist.

This hour, we take a closer look at wage inequality in our state. We ask our panel of experts why unequal pay is still so common in the workplace, and what’s being done eliminate it. 

This year, Tennessee joined 21 other states that allow employees to leave guns in their cars in the office parking lot. The laws have left many employers debating how best to ensure safety at work.

After Georgia passed its law allowing employees to keep firearms in their employers' parking lots, Sally Roberts installed a sign on her newspaper firm's door. It read: "No Weapons Allowed."

A job candidate once threatened her, says Roberts, human resources director at Morris Communications. "She did become violent, and I'm very thankful she did not have a weapon."

All of us are familiar with the sound a smartphone makes when an email or text has arrived. Our somewhat Pavlovian response is to pick up the device, see who the message is from and read it.

In Germany, a growing number of these emails come from the boss contacting employees after work. That's not healthy, say experts on work-related stress, including psychologist Gerdamarie Schmitz in Berlin, who is feeling the technological encroachment herself.

Scenes. Conversation. Politics. What inspires artists working in their studios?

Inspiration can come from the quiet of the mind, or, as we just noticed, the spark that results in art can be set off because of world events. Connecticut artist Lula Mae Blocton explains how her work on paper was inspired by events in Newtown, Connecticut.

Connecticut’s U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal and Massachusetts Congressman Jim McGovern are calling attention to a recent poll in hopes of blocking a Republican-driven amendment that would adjust limits on the number of hours truck drivers can be behind the wheel.

Krystal International Vacation Club / Creative Commons

Research shows that using your vacation time can have some major benefits. For one, it’s better for productivity, and -- as one study shows -- it can even be better for your health. But are Americans taking enough time off, or are we really a "no-vacation nation"? 

Kristin Wall/flickr creative commons

Extraordinary numbers of people are about to join the ranks of the unemployed—by choice. They're about to retire. (Of course some are forced to give up work because of illness, injury, or a major change in circumstances.)

No matter how it occurs, who are you after you can no longer continue in work that in many ways has given you your sense of identity, what you say you are when you meet someone… a detective, judge, reporter, florist, teacher, bus driver.

Takashi Hososhima/flickr creative commons

Studies show that power naps at work make us more productive. At the software giant Google's headquarters, employees are actually invited to nap in an area set up for this purpose.

American Woolen Company

In 1894, a new national holiday was created -- a day when American workers could retreat from harsh work conditions and long hours to spend some time with family and friends. The holiday was called Labor Day.

Who's In The Office? The American Workday In One Graph

Aug 28, 2014

Researchers often look at the number of hours worked, but rarely do they ask the question of when. Fortunately, the government conducts an annual study called the American Time Use Survey that tracks how people spend their days.

The interactive graph below shows the share of workers who say they're working in a given hour, grouped by occupation. Play with the different job categories to see how the average workdays differ from one another.

The Westfield Valley Fair Mall straddles two cities. One side of the mall is in Santa Clara, but walk a few feet down the mall, and you're in San Jose. In 2012, San Jose voters agreed to raise the city's minimum wage from $8 to $10 an hour.

Philip Sandigo manages a shoe store on the $8-an-hour side. When San Jose raised the minimum wage, he lost about half his staff.

They went to the stores on the side of the mall that paid $2 an hour more.

Fuse / Thinkstock

The number of workers sickened on the job in Connecticut has declined slightly, according to a new study by UConn. Occupational illnesses in the state, however, remain more prevalent than the national average. 

Krystal International Vacation Club / Creative Commons

Research shows that using your vacation time can have some major benefits. For one, it’s better for productivity, and -- as one study shows -- it can even be better for your health. But are Americans taking enough time off, or are we really a "no-vacation nation"? 

Ben Newton / Creative Commons

We cover a lot of the ground on The Scramble this hour. We starting with Maria Konnikova, a New Yorker writer, who’s going to lead me through a conversation about proposals for a drastically reduced work week, about ways in which having more choices may actually reduce our sense of happiness and fulfillment, and about the illusion that we can taste something—wine, in this case —in a state of pure isolation and detachment from outside influences. 

Kate Haskell/flickr creative commons

As we can see from a recent Planet Money story on NPR, millions of people are quitting their jobs each month, and Janet Yellen of The Fed thinks this is a good sign. She says if people are quitting in high numbers, that signals they're sure better jobs are available. In other words, a strong signal for the economy.

In the land that came up with the phrase "Thank God it's Friday," and a restaurant chain to capitalize on the sense of relief many feel as the work week ends, researchers made an unusual finding in 2012.

Moms who worked full time reported significantly better physical and mental health than moms who worked part time, research involving more than 2,500 mothers found. And mothers who worked part time reported better health than moms who didn't work at all.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

From the nineteenth century “counting house” to the modern-day cubicle, the layout of our workspaces has undergone some pretty radical changes over the years.

Everyone seems to talk about feeling stressed out. But what's the reality of stress in America these days?

NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health conducted a nationwide poll in March and early April to find out.

Our questions zeroed in on the effect of stress in Americans' lives. We asked about people's personal experiences with stress in the preceding month and year. We also asked about how they perceived the effects of stress, how they cope with stress and their attitudes about it.

It wasn't the worst possible outcome for public sector unions. But that could still happen.

Fast Food Workers Protest; State Unemployment Dips

May 15, 2014

Connecticut fast food workers joined national protests today calling for higher wages. Workers are asking for $15 an hour. Connecticut raised the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2017. The federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour was last raised in 2009. And that works out to about $15,000 a year for a 40 hour work-week.

Connecticut Employers Add Jobs

Governor Dannel Malloy and Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman observed Equal Pay Day by citing their administration’s progress on the issue today. Malloy says raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour will improve the economic security of women and their families in Connecticut. But he says it is unacceptable for women, doing the same work, to earn 78 percent of what men earn.

Federal inspectors found more than 7,100 defects and deficiencies in the Metro-North Railroad over the last decade, but records show regulators launched an investigation only after two high-profile accidents last year. In an open records request by Hearst Media, federal inspection reports between 2003 and 2013 show inspectors last year found broken joint bars and loose or missing rail braces that hold tracks to the ties in Bridgeport, Norwalk, New Haven and Stamford.

Connecticut officials are discussing final efforts to enroll residents in health insurance plans before next week’s deadline. Governor Dannel Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman appeared at the First Choice Health Center in East Hartford today along with Kevin Counihan, CEO of the state’s insurance marketplace, Access Health CT.  Those who don’t sign up will have to pay $95 or 1 percent of their income, whichever is greater.

Bridgeport's City Council has approved a massive solar energy project this week that could bring thousands of solar panels to a former city landfill. The city of Bridgeport will lease about 16 acres of the space to United Illuminating. UI’s ratepayers will pick up the roughly $35 million tab to build the array.

Days after class-action lawsuits claimed McDonald’s Restaurants are deliberately and systematically stealing employees’ pay, workers and community leaders protested today in Hartford and New Haven. It was part of a nationwide series of actions in 40 cities calling on the fast-food giant to stop its illegal wage theft.

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