work

Firearms
5:42 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Do Guns On The Premises Make Workplaces Safer?

In 2010, Omar Thornton killed eight colleagues in Manchester, Conn., before killing himself. Private employers used to create their own rules about guns on their property. But over the past five years, many states have adopted laws that allow employees to keep firearms in their vehicles at work.
Douglas Healey Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 8:49 am

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."

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Europe
3:35 am
Mon December 1, 2014

German Government May Say 'Nein' To After Work Emails

German Chancellor Angela Merkel uses a mobile phone during a meeting of the German federal parliament in Berlin, on Nov. 28, 2013. The country's labor minister supports a call that would prohibit employers from sending emails to employees after normal business hours.
Michael Sohn AP

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 2:46 pm

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.

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The Faith Middleton Show
11:40 am
Tue October 28, 2014

Studio Artists Call-In: What Things Inspire Your Work?

Sandy Hook Remembered, Lula Mae Blocton, 2013

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.

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Trucking
4:21 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Blumenthal, McGovern Oppose Driving Limit Revisions

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 6:56 pm

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.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed September 24, 2014

America: The "No-Vacation Nation"?

One in four Americans gets no paid time off.
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"? 

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The Faith Middleton Show
11:53 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Identity: Who Are You if You No Longer Do Your Job?

Credit 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.

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The Faith Middleton Show
12:59 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Napping at Work Makes Employees More Productive

Credit 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.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Connecticut Work Life: Past, Present, and Future

American Woolen, Stafford Springs.
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.

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Working Hours
12:42 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

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

Jason DeCrow AP

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 11:36 am

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.

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Planet Money
8:44 am
Thu August 28, 2014

A Mall With Two Minimum Wages

Wetzel's Pretzels employee Emperatriz Orozco hands out free samples at the Westfield Valley Fair Mall.
Steve Henn NPR

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 7:20 am

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.

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Healthy Workplace
1:23 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Work-Related Illnesses Fall in Connecticut

Credit 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. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri August 22, 2014

America: The "No-Vacation Nation"?

One in four Americans gets no paid time off.
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"? 

Read more
The Colin McEnroe Show
10:52 am
Mon August 11, 2014

The Scramble: Working Less, Misandry, and Violence in Auto Racing

Credit 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. 

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The Faith Middleton Show
10:08 am
Mon August 4, 2014

Mastering the Art of Quitting in Life, Love, and Work

Credit 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.

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Mental Health
3:30 am
Tue July 15, 2014

When Work Becomes A Haven From Stress At Home

Lucinda Schreiber for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 11:13 am

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.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue July 8, 2014

The Design of Workspaces Past, Present, and Future

Tony Amenta.
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.

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RX: Take a Chill Pill
7:07 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Stressed Out: Americans Tell Us About Stress In Their Lives

Aly Hurt/NPR

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 7:57 am

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.

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Labor
1:05 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Unions Fear High Court's Ruling Opens Door To More Trouble

The Supreme Court decision held that health care workers could not be forced to pay fees to the union recognized by the state of Illinois, because the state is not their direct employer. Some fear this will lead to further erosion of unions.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 1:39 pm

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

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Connecticut First
5:28 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Fast Food Workers Protest; State Unemployment Dips

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

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Connecticut First
5:29 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Equal Pay Day Tuesday; Sandy Hook Assistance Payments Not Taxable

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.

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Connecticut First
5:56 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Report Finds Metro-North Defects; Bill Introduced to Protect Kids From E-Cigarettes

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.

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Connecticut First
5:16 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Health Insurance Deadline Looms; New England Unemployment Rate Declines

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.

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News
5:37 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Bridgeport Approves Solar Panel Project; Labor Department Cites New London for Violation

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.

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Connecticut First
10:31 am
Tue March 18, 2014

McDonald's Workers Protest Over Wages; Lawmakers Call for Funding to Fight Heroin Addiction

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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Connecticut First
4:35 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Governors Tout Minimum Wage; Possible Amendment to Transportation Fund

Governor Dannel  Malloy, Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee and Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin spoke to reporters on a White House conference call over the weekend. The chief executives agree a higher minimum wage is critical to boosting workers’ purchasing power and strengthening the economy.  

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Connecticut First
5:22 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Blumenthal, Officials Discuss Minimum Wage; Budget Surplus Slips

Federal Labor Secretary Thomas Perez joined U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, local workers and politicians in Hartford today to discuss a minimum wage increase. The current federal minimum wage is $7.25. In Connecticut the wage is higher at $8.70 an hour, and is set to increase to $9.00 next year.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Unemployment and the Job Search

Congress continues to debate the extension of unemployment benefits.
Credit Senate Democrats / Creative Commons

The debate over unemployment insurance has Congress in a deadlock. Those opposed to extending emergency benefits argue that doing so only promotes an "idle" class of jobless Americans. Those in favor say it's the only safety net the unemployed have in today’s difficult labor market.

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Abilities, Not Disabilities
7:00 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

East Hartford-Based Moonshiners Implement Inclusive Hiring Practices

Members of MARC Inc., a not-for-profit in Manchester, work at Onyx along with their job coach.
Sujata Srinivasan

I’m with production manager Eryka Wright on the shop floor of East Hartford-based Onyx Spirits Co. LLC, which makes handcrafted Prohibition-era moonshine. While some workers carry boxes, Wright and one of her employees are doing the chicken dance. "We do random dance outbreaks to keep the blood flowing and keep the energy high," she said.

Wright supervises employees with developmental disabilities. They're trained by MARC Inc., a state-funded, Manchester-based not-for-profit chapter of ARC, a national advocacy group for people with disabilities such as autism, Down's syndrome, and fragile X. The organization places workers at companies across Connecticut, including Bob’s Discount Furniture, Gerber Scientific, and McDonald’s franchises. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
4:10 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Is Work the Best Place to Work?

David Arai is the president of Maier Design Group
Chion Wolf

I've been writing a newspaper column for The Hartford Courant since 1982. For my first 15 years or so, I tended to write the column at The Hartford Courant. In the last ten years, I have written columns in the following places: a sports bar in San Francisco; a boat moving along the Rhine; the famous Brasserie Balzar in Paris; an outdoor clearing in the Yucatan jungle where, bizarrely, there was WiFi; and a living room in Kobe, Japan.

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Host's Diary
5:24 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

What's the Physical Space Like Where You Work?

Depressing Cambridge University cubicles.
Credit cmglee / Creative Commons

We're working on a show about whether work is the best place to do work. So we're nosy interested in how you feel about the physical spaces at your job. 

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