Filed under: Work culture

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U.S. cracks down on hiring of illegal immigrants

The federal government is requiring as many as 1,000 companies to turn over their employment records for inspection, part of an expanding crackdown on businesses suspected of hiring illegal immigrants, according to people close to the Department of Homeland Security.

The audits, which the government is expected to make public in the next few days, represent the biggest operation since 2009. At that time, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a DHS unit, conducted an auditing sweep of businesses working in public safety and national security. Get the full story »

Middle class not better off than their parents

Are you better off than your parents? Probably not if you’re in the middle class.

Incomes for 90 percent of Americans have been stuck in neutral, and it’s not just because of the Great Recession. Middle-class incomes have been stagnant for at least a generation, while the wealthiest tier has surged ahead at lighting speed. Get the full story »

Pay gap between male, female doctors widens

Newly trained female doctors in the United States make nearly $17,000 less than their male counterparts, even though women increasingly are choosing careers in higher-paying medical specialties, U.S. researchers said on Thursday.

They said there has been a widening gender gap in starting salaries for female doctors, rising from a difference of $3,600 in 1999 to $16,819 in 2008. Get the full story »

Fired Packer fan takes job at rival car dealership

John C. Stone – fired from his sales job at an Oak Lawn Chevrolet dealership for wearing a Green Bay Packers tie – is joining a new team. Stone, 34, will begin working as a salesman at another suburban Chevrolet dealership on Thursday.

“It’s overwhelming right now,” Stone said today. “I still haven’t settled down from being hurt like that, but I’m getting over it because all I wanted was my job.”

Car salesman fired for wearing Packers’ tie

John Stone said that when he went to work Monday morning at Webb Chevrolet in Oak Lawn, he decided to wear a Green Bay Packers tie he’s had for years to honor his late grandmother, a huge Packers fan.

Little did he know that the seemingly innocent gesture would cost him his job, Stone said.

Stone said that when he showed up at work, general manager Jerry Roberts called him over to his office and then ordered him to take off the Packers tie or else he would be fired. Stone said he thought Roberts was joking and went back to work. Get the full story>>

Only 11.9% of workers in a union

The nation’s labor unions saw another sharp decline in membership last year even as the economic recovery began and job losses slowed.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says unions lost 612,000 members in 2010. That drops the unionized share of the work force to 11.9 percent from 12.3 percent in 2009.

Union membership in the private sector fell from 7.2 percent to 6.9 percent, a low point not seen since the infancy of the labor movement in the 1930s. The steepest decline was among construction workers. Get the full story »

U.S. plans crackdown on employers of illegal workers

The Obama administration plans to intensify a crackdown on employers of illegal immigrants with the establishment of an audit office designed to bolster verification of company hiring records.

In an interview, John Morton, chief of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a unit of the Department of Homeland Security, said the Employment Compliance Inspection Center would “address a need to conduct audits even of the largest employers with a very large number of employees.” The office would be announced Thursday, he said. Get the full story »

Supreme Court limits privacy of gov’t contractors

The Supreme Court has again rejected broad privacy rights for some government workers.

A unanimous bench on Wednesday affirmed the government’s right to conduct personal background checks on current and prospective employees under federal contract, especially those in sensitive or high-security workplaces. Get the full story »

Motorola Mobility names Nike executive to board

Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc., the newly independent cell phone and set-top box business of the former Motorola Inc., appointed Nike Inc. executive Jeanne P. Jackson to its board Thursday. Get the full story »

Taking cell call tops list of job interview blunders

If you receive a cell phone call or text message during your job interview, don’t answer it. Doing so ranks as job candidates’ most common mistake in an interview, according to a survey of hiring managers.

Indeed, 71 percent of managers surveyed named it as the top blunder, according to a report out Wednesday from online career site CareerBuilder. Other common mistakes: dressing inappropriately and appearing disinterested, each cited by 69 percent of managers, followed closely by appearing arrogant at 66 percent. Get the full story »

OSHA cites Bridgford plant for safety violations

A Bridgford Foods processing plant in Chicago faces up to $212,000 in fines for worker safety violations, a federal agency said Tuesday.

The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the producer of meat snacks and deli foods for failing to implement and provide training for workers on lockout procedures, in turn exposing workers to energized equipment. Get the full story »

Supervalu settles Chicago bias case for $3.2M

Supervalu Inc. has agreed to pay $3.2 million to 110 workers to resolve allegations it systematically terminated disabled employees at Chicago-area supermarkets, one of the largest such settlements under the Americans With Disabilities Act. Get the full story »

State Farm tightens dress code: No more shorts

Three years after they relaxed the dress code for employees at their Bloomington headquarters, the State Farm Insurance Cos. are tightening it up a bit again. As of this week, shorts are forbidden. Get the full story »

OSHA fines Norridge-based sewer company

Norridge-based Gerardi Sewer & Water Co. was issued multiple safety citations for failing to protect workers from cave-ins during trenching operations, said the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Cave-ins are a leading cause of deaths during excavations. Get the full story »

Free cars part of culture shift at merged United

United Airlines workers with perfect attendance for six months may be eligible to win a free car under a new employee perk that takes effect Jan. 1.

The morale-boosting effort is one of the first public campaigns by parent United Continental Holdings Inc. to stamp Continental Airlines’ culture on its larger merger partner. During the past decade, Continental has given away more than 180 vehicles to its employees. Get the full story »