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CEOs earn 343 times more than typical workers

In 2010, chief executives at some of the nation’s largest companies earned an average of $11.4 million in total pay — 343 times more than a typical American worker, according to the AFL-CIO.

“Despite the collapse of the financial market at the hands of executives less than 3 years ago, the disparity between CEO and workers’ pay has continued to grow to levels that are simply stunning,“ said Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO president. Get the full story »

Man died of head injuries at Caterpillar

A worker was crushed by the machine he was servicing at a Caterpillar facility in central Illinois, an autopsy has found.

The (Peoria) Journal Star reports that an autopsy performed Monday confirms that 34-year-old Troy Bryner of Wyoming died Sunday of head injuries. Bryner was pronounced dead at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center about 40 minutes after being crushed by the machine.

McDonald’s listed among top hourly employers

McDonald’s Corp. and 11 other companies were tapped Tuesday by Working Mother magazine as the best companies for hourly employees in 2011. Get the full story »

Ill. House may scrap workers’ compensation

Illinois Rep. John Bradley. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

The Illinois House is considering a plan to scrap the state’s much-criticized workers’ compensation system. That means workers and employers would have to battle in court over each injury and whether the worker should be compensated.

Legislation ending the system was given tentative approval Thursday. Rep. John Bradley says he plans to hold a final vote as soon as possible. Get the full story »

Job worries drive growth in plastic surgery

Eye lifts lead the growth in plastic surgery. (Reuters)

As the U.S. economy gets a lift, so do faces. More than 13 million cosmetic plastic surgeries were performed in the U.S. during 2010, up 5 percent from 2009, according the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, or ASPS.

Phillip Haeck, president of the ASPS, has noticed a sharp increase in plastic surgeries in his own practice. And much of his business is coming from men over the age of 55 who are concerned about keeping their jobs. Get the full story »

Transocean execs get big bonuses after spill

Declaring 2010 “the best year in safety performance in our company’s history,“ Transocean Ltd., owner of the Gulf of Mexico oil rig that exploded, killing 11 workers, has awarded its top executives hefty bonuses and raises, according to a recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Get the full story »

Caterpillar CEO: No plans to leave Illinois

Caterpillar CEO Douglas Oberhelman speaks at a conference hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C., March 30, 2011. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

News reports that Peoria-based Caterpillar Inc. was thinking of exiting Illinois were misleading, Doug Oberhelman, chairman and chief executive of the construction and mining machine maker, said Wednesday.

The media read too much into his recent letter to Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, he said. Get the full story »

Chicago sociologist central to Wal-Mart suit

From the New York Times | When the Supreme Court considers on Tuesday whether hundreds of thousands of women can band together in an employment discrimination suit against Wal-Mart, the argument may hinge on the validity of the hotly disputed conclusions of a Chicago sociologist.

Plaintiffs in the class-action suit, who claim that Wal-Mart owes billions of dollars to as many as 1.5 million women who they say were unfairly treated on pay and promotions, enlisted the support of William T. Bielby, an academic specializing in “social framework analysis.” Get the full story>>

American Apparel CEO seeks end to sex slave case

American Apparel owner Dov Charney at a rally in Los Angeles in 2009. (Reuters/Mario Anzuoni/Files)

A woman who brought a $250 million sexual harassment lawsuit against American Apparel Inc. Chief Executive Dov Charney could be forced to take the case to arbitration, rather than pursue it in court.

A Brooklyn, N.Y., judge said at a hearing Friday that she may dismiss the lawsuit, which accused Charney of keeping a teenage saleswoman at the company as a sex slave. Get the full story »

Wal-Mart sex-bias suit hits High Court next week

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will urge the U.S. Supreme Court next week to reject the largest class-action sex-discrimination lawsuit in history, brought by female employees who seek billion of dollars.

The top U.S. court hears arguments March 29 in a suit against the world’s largest retailer for allegedly giving women less pay and fewer promotions at 3,400 U.S. stores since late 1998. Get the full story »

3M settles McNerney-era age discrimination suit

3M Co. has offered to pay up to $12 million to settle a lawsuit that accused the diversified industrial company of discriminating against older workers in performance evaluations, promotions and layoffs. Get the full story »

Survey: 42% of U.S. millionaires don’t feel wealthy

(Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

A million dollars ain’t what it used to be. More than four out of ten American millionaires say they do not feel rich. Indeed many would need to have at least $7.5 million in order to feel they were truly rich, according to a Fidelity Investments survey.

Some 42 percent of the more than 1,000 millionaires surveyed by Fidelity said they did not feel wealthy. Respondents had at least $1 million in investable assets, excluding any real estate or retirement accounts.

“Every person in the survey is wealthy,” said Sanjiv Mirchandani, president of National Financial, a unit of Fidelity. “But they are still worried about outliving their assets.” Get the full story »

Women make gains, but still lag in pay

Women are gaining ground educationally and economically, but men still make more money on average and women are more likely to live in poverty, according to a White House report expected to be released Tuesday. Get the full story »

Survey: Employees on time for work more often

One bright side of the recession, at least for employers, is that employees are arriving on time more often. According to a CareerBuilder survey released this morning, 15 percent of workers confessed they arrived late to work once a week or more, down from 16 percent in 2009, and 20 percent in 2008. Get the full story »

Humana to set up wellness venture in Chicago

Humana Inc. said it will set up a joint venture to provide employers and health plan members with new wellness programs and services that reward workers for staying healthy.

Louisville-based Humana, one of the nation’s largest health insurance companies, said it will create a new company, based in Chicago, with Discovery Holdings of South Africa. Discovery owns the Vitality brand of wellness programs and services which work somewhat like airline miles in how they reward workers to stay healthy. Get the full story »