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The Fear of Feelings at Work

May 2, 2017 It’s clear which emotions are acceptable at work: Happiness and enthusiasm are welcomed, but sadness and fear are usually awkward and taboo. That’s likely why workers tend to cry in the bathroom but smile at their desks. While emotions such as fear or sadness are perceived negatively by companies, they...

The Restaurants Hurt Most by Minimum-Wage Hikes

April 26, 2017 For restaurant workers, especially kitchen staff who don’t receive tips, a boost in the minimum wage is usually welcome. But restaurant owners don’t always see it that way. They often argue that raising the price floor for labor can cause businesses running tight margins—as many restaurants do—to shutter. A new...

Amazon Will Refund $70 Million Worth of App Purchases Made by Kids

April 6, 2017 Last year, Amazon was found guilty of illegally billing some of its customers. Specifically, the issue was many parents had been charged for purchases made, without their consent, by their children. This week, the company has agreed to end its efforts to appeal that ruling and give those parents their...

The Geography of U.S. Productivity

March 31, 2017 From 2007 to 2016, productivity in the U.S. grew at about 1 percent—ahistorically low rate. In other recent periods, it’s been much higher: 2.6 percent from 2000 to 2007 and 2.2 percent in the 1990s. The divergence has left economist looking for answers about slumping productivity and how to fix...

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Being Quiet Is Part of Being a Good Leader

March 3, 2017 The amount of literature devoted to teaching people how to become a successful executive is vast. And that’s no surprise: People aspire to be in the C-suite, and they want to do a good job when they finally get to the top rung of the corporate ladder. Moreover, leaders are...

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People Are Finding It Hard to Focus on Work Right Now

February 9, 2017 Months before the election, there were reports of greater political tension in offices than in previous election cycles. In one survey from the American Psychological Association, 10 percent of respondents said that political discussions at work led to stress, feeling cynical, difficulty finishing work, lower work quality, and diminished productivity....

Will States Take Up the Mantle of Worker Protection?

January 17, 2017 Since November’s election, labor advocates have been bracing themselves for an administration they fear will be kinder to owners than to workers. One of the clearest signs that the Department of Labor is set to switch gears: Andy Puzder, the CEO of fast-food company CKE Restaurants, was nominated as secretary...

Will the Minimum Wage Debate Ever Be Settled?

December 19, 2016 With much of President-Elect Trump’s cabinet in place, the direction the administration could take on some policy issues is becoming clearer. Among the priorities that likely won’t be carried forward: support for minimum-wage hikes. Andrew Puzder—President-Elect Donald Trump’s pick for U.S. Secretary of Labor has opposed the federal minimum wage...

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The Challenge of Selecting a New Treasury Secretary

November 21, 2016 The Trump transition team has yet to announce who will become the next secretary of the treasury, but a few candidates have emerged in the past week, including Representative Jeb Hensarling of Texas, Trump’s campaign finance chair Steven Mnuchin, and the billionaire investor Wilbur Ross. While the potential appointees do...

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Shooting for Space, to Make Life Better on Earth

October 6, 2016 The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, better known as NASA, was created in 1958 as a federal agency focused on exploring the science and technology for space and flight travel. Since then, the agency has landed on the moon, helped launch multiple space stations, and sent four rovers to Mars....