employment

City Council Might Change The Rules For Hiring Criminals

Jun 10, 2013

The Seattle City Council is voting this afternoon on whether to ban employers from immediately asking about the criminal history of new applicants. They would have to wait until after an initial review of the application. After that, a past conviction can still figure into the hiring process. But that’s only if the employer proves that there’s a direct relationship between applicant’s crime and the job they’re applying for.

The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce has opposed this legislation from the beginning. Due to its influence, several changes have been made since November. However, the chamber still takes issue parts of the proposal. David Hyde talks to George Allen, the chamber's senior vice president of government relations. We also hear from local attorney Merf Ehman, one of the driving forces behind the City Council’s proposal.

Pop Your Blue Collar: The Evolution Of Blue Collar Work In The US

May 22, 2013
Flickr Photo/WSDOT

 In the past decade, blue collar jobs have diminished. But in the coming decade, that tide is expected to change. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an additional 2.7 million new blue collar jobs such as home health care aides and rebar and iron maintenance workers by 2020. Ross Reynolds talks with Tim Sweeney and Dan Jacoby about the future of blue collar work and education. 

Should Unpaid Internships Be Banned?

May 16, 2013
Flickr photo/Edwin and Kelly Tofslie

A lawsuit against Fox Searchlight Pictures has sparked a fierce debate over whether the US should ban all unpaid internships. Eric Glatt is the plaintiff in the case. He interned at Fox for free, but now he says that his unpaid internship was illegal and that every unpaid internship should be banned.

Steve Cohen is also a former unpaid intern, and he disagrees. Cohen says interns cost time and money and paying them misses the point. Glatt and Cohen debate the issue, and David Hyde takes calls from listeners.

How Does Washington State Help Workers With Developmental Disabilities?

May 9, 2013
Flickr Photo/Tony Hall

Washington State’s Developmental Disabilities Administration helps people with disabilities like autism, cerebral palsy and down syndrome find work. The DDA serves nearly 9,000 adults over the age of 21.

Ross Reynolds interviews Dr. Pat Brown, director of the University of Washington’s employment program. Ross also talks with Doug Wilson, a sales manager at Copiers Northwest, who employs people with developmental disabilities and Shawn Christensen, a man with cerebral palsy who works at Regal Cinemas in Renton.

The production line at a Boeing facility.
Courtesy/Boeing Company

Boeing officials say pink slips will go out Friday to about a hundred engineers in the Puget Sound area. It’s the first round of more expected cuts for the engineering staff, which Boeing said it plans to reduce by 1,500 to 1,700 positions through layoffs and job openings that will not be filled.

Greendays Gardening: Open Phones

Mar 26, 2013
Cherry trees
Flickr Photo/Camknows

With temperatures near 60 in the forecast, gardening season is in full swing. Did your plants survive last week's cold snap and snow? How do you keep your garden alive in the ever-changing weather? Our experts are here to answer your questions. Call us at 206.543.5869 or send an email to weekday@kuow.org.

Will Your Job Be Terminated By A Robot?

Mar 14, 2013
Flickr Photo/Eirik Newth

Earlier this year IBM’s supercomputer, Watson, took a job with health care company WellPoint. Watson isn’t the only robot taking our jobs. By the end of the century, an estimated 70 percent of current occupations will be replaced by automation. Digital labor will take over assembly lines, write articles and even give legal advice. Where will that leave humans? 

There were 236,000 jobs added to payrolls in February — many more than expected — and the jobless rate unexpectedly dropped by two-tenths of a point, to 7.7 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

Nationally the private sector added 5 million jobs since a low point in June of 2009. But during that same time period the public sector cut 721,000 jobs. What effect is the shrinking public sector having on the economy? And what’s the story here in Washington state?

longislandwins / Flickr

President Obama thinks E-Verify should be mandatory as part of his plan for immigration reform. Is this a good idea? How accurate is E-Verify? What happens if someone comes up negative? Is immigration contacted immediately? Ross Reynolds talks with CEO Roy Beck of Numbers USA, and Policy Analyst David Bier.

Big changes to US immigration policy could mean more temporary work visas for people with skills like computer programming. Employers in the Northwest including Microsoft say there aren’t enough US workers to meet demand. Now, a bipartisan group of Senators wants to expand the number of temporary worker visas from 65,000 to 115,000. But critics say those jobs can and should be filled by qualified US workers. Ross Reynolds talks with public policy advocate and political strategist Maria Cardona and president of the Programmers Guild, Kim Berry about the ongoing issue of temporary worker visas.

A proposed bill in Olympia aims to crack down on employers who shortchange their workers. The measure would create harsher penalties for business that skimp on minimum wage, overtime pay, or just flat out fail to hand over a paycheck.

This type of  underpayment is often referred to as “wage theft.” Advocates of the bill, HB 1440, say the victims of wage theft tend to be low-income workers and undocumented immigrants.

Job growth continues to be sluggish, but there’s one big exception: temporary work.  The number of temp and contract jobs has increased by nearly 30 percent since early 2009, according to the American Staffing Association. 

Ross Reynolds takes a closer look at the new temping economy with Steven Greenhouse, the  labor reporter for The New York Times.

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