business

Convicted criminals in Oregon would not have to disclose their criminal history on job applications under a measure moving through the legislature.

Seattle skyline
Flickr Photo/Steven Santiago (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with André Bearfield, co-founder of HERE Seattle, a professional organization for tech industry workers who are new to Seattle, about his experience moving to the city and encountering the "Seattle freeze."

Managers of Portland's largest commercial buildings will start tracking their energy use under a new city policy approved Wednesday.

Portland is joining 12 cities that already use the Energy Star reporting system, run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Participating buildings have cut energy use by an average of more than 2 percent, just by monitoring and reporting, according to Alisa Kane with Portland's Bureau of Planning and Sustainability.

Starting next month, Alaska Airlines will explore charging extra for main cabin seats with more legroom and creature comforts.

Cary Chin works at the front desk of Seattle-based Gravity Payments. CEO Dan Price told his employees this week that he was cutting his own salary and using company profits so they would each earn a base salary of $70,000.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Marcie Sillman speaks with Dan Price, founder and CEO of Seattle-based credit card payment processing firm Gravity Payments. He recently raised his company's minimum wage to $70,000 a year for all employees.

When it comes to negotiating salaries, the research is pretty clear: women are less assertive than men. It's one reason women who start their careers with a narrower pay gap see it widen over time.

Carnegie Mellon economics professor Linda Babcock, who studies the gender pay gap, says men are four times more likely to negotiate their pay. That keeps women at a disadvantage, though they're not always aware of it.

Think, for just a moment, about the last job you applied for.

If you didn't get the job (apologies), did you get an interview? If not, did you feel some hidden forces, beyond your control, working against you?

This bushtit is a commong bird found in the Seattle area.
Flickr Photo/ Eric Ellingson (CC BY 2.0)

There is proof that we Seattleites love our native songbirds.

We put an economic value on them of at least $120 million a year, according to a recent study co-authored by a University of Washington professor. That’s roughly $12 per Seattleite and includes spending on birdseed, feeders and bird-supporting activities. 

Micrsoft technology
Flickr Photo/Fabien Lavocat (CC BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with Dr. Annette Estes, the director of University of Washington's autism center, about employing people with autism.

Katherine Switz, founder of the Stability Network.
Courtesy of Katherine Switz

When a GermanWings passenger jet slammed into the French Alps last month, killing all aboard, attention focused on the co-pilot’s treatment for severe depression – and how he hid his illness.

An estimated 58 percent of Americans don’t want people with mental health issues in their workplace, even though a vast majority of people with such illnesses can work just fine.

Protesters rally as part of the National Day of Action for Higher Wages on Capitol Hill, Seattle, on April 15, 2015.
KUOW Photo/Todd Mundt

Unions and low-wage workers held rallies around the state Wednesday to push for higher wages.

Twenty-one protesters, including seven Seattle University faculty members, were arrested after occupying an intersection near the university, which has blocked adjunct faculty members' efforts to unionize.

The recovery from the Great Recession has crossed a milestone in Washington state.

The unpredictable schedules of retail and fast-food workers is a big issue in workers rights campaigns. Now, the New York attorney general is investigating the way some of the country's biggest retailers handle scheduling.

In New York, if a worker shows up for a shift that he doesn't end up being needed for, the law says he still is due four hours of pay. State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says retailers, especially, rely heavily on systems that require workers to be ready to work a shift — regardless of whether they end up working. It's called on-call work.

Cheu Chang, right, at the Indochinese Farm Project in Woodinville in the mid-80s.
Courtesy of WSU Extension/Sharon Coleman

If you’ve bought one of those big flower bouquets at Seattle’s Pike Place Market, there’s a good chance a Hmong farmer sold it to you.

KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Seattle’s new minimum wage law went into effect April 1, as did a law meant to ensure workers get paid overtime when they’ve earned it. But not everyone’s complying.

So what’s the city doing to enforce the new laws? 

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