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Rex Huppke: Let Internet star Blake Vapes help with workplace haters

Business / Business News /

If my years of reading workplace advice books have taught me anything, it's that most workplace advice books should be edited down from 300 pages to, at most, a small pamphlet.

It's apropos of the working world, I suppose, that even the best advice gets buried in blah-blah. It's the same reason "quick meetings" wind up taking two hours and "...Read more

Liz Reyer: What to do when little things set you off at work

Business / Business News /

Q: Most of the time I'm pretty even-tempered, but some things at work set me off. They always have to do with being called to task for not following rules -- the problem is that the rules are unclear or shifting so that it's hard to keep up with expectations. They're really minor things and I think I'm often overreacting (though my responses so ...Read more

Your Office Coach: Undoing the damage of a toxic work environment

Business / Business News /

Q: I recently left a company where the environment was extremely toxic. Management had a group of favorites, and anyone outside the inner circle could quickly become a target. There was absolutely no trust among the staff. Because our behavior was constantly scrutinized, I never dared to voice an opinion about anything.

Fortunately, my new ...Read more

Diane Stafford: Email habits that lose friends at work

Business / Business News /

Here's what busy workers don't have time to tolerate:

Any email that fails to include a subject line. People don't go to their inboxes for treasure hunts.

Any email that only says "Hi!" There's too much danger behind that fake friendship.

Any email WRITTEN IN ALL CAPS -- hard to read. Ditto a gray blob of italics or other odd scripts.

...Read more

Balancing Act: Best Mother's Day gift: Paid maternity leave

Business / Business News /

When Yalimar Panell gave birth to twin daughters, she felt sore from her Cesarean section, exhausted from running back and forth to the neonatal unit, and oddly grateful that her husband was unemployed and able to help.

Yet, if it wasn't for her employer offering 16 weeks of paid parental leave, Panell says she would have been less grateful and...Read more

Uber sued again over drivers' employment status

Business / Business News /

SAN FRANCISCO -- The class action flood gates have opened.

Less than two weeks after Uber Technologies agreed to pay up to $100 million to settle class-action lawsuits in California and Massachusetts in which drivers sought to be reclassified as employees instead of independent contractors, the ride-hailing company has been slapped with two new...Read more

Hulu is developing a cable-like package of channels

Business / Business News /

LOS ANGELES -- Hulu is preparing a cable-like digital bundle that would stream feeds of broadcast and cable TV channels, a person familiar with the matter said.

The streaming service, based outside Los Angeles, is the latest media company to get into the so-called "skinny bundle" business, which refers to the idea of creating slimmer TV ...Read more

Small businesses dampen hiring plans as confidence drops

Business / Business News /

CHICAGO -- Small-business owners' confidence took a dive in the first part of the year and many say the presidential election is weighing on their minds, according to a survey released Monday by Capital One.

The March national survey of some 400 for-profit small businesses, defined as having less than $10 million in annual revenue, revealed ...Read more

Sumner Redstone's testimony of 'utmost significance,' judge declares

Business / Business News /

LOS ANGELES -- A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge said Monday that the ailing Sumner Redstone will have to testify in the upcoming trial to determine whether he is mentally competent.

Redstone will have to give a 15-minute deposition, which will be videotaped and played for the judge at trial. That portion of the trial will be closed to ...Read more

Vince Vaughn's stepfather liable in goat blood drug case, jury finds

Business / Business News /

CHICAGO -- Vince Vaughn has been involved in some far-fetched scenarios during his Hollywood career -- "The Internship," anyone? -- but if a screenwriter pitched him on a plot based on his family's long-running federal court woes, even he might reject it as a little too much.

First the actor's mom, Shea Vaughn, paid more than $1 million in 2006...Read more

Woman sues Starbucks for $5 million over amount of ice in cold drinks

Business / Business News /

CHICAGO -- A Chicago woman is suing Starbucks for more than $5 million for allegedly underfilling its iced coffee, tea and blended drinks.

Plaintiff Stacy Pincus argues in the lawsuit, filed last week in federal court in Chicago, that the amount of ice Starbucks uses in its drinks means customers get less of the actual beverage.

Starbucks' ...Read more

Fiat Chrysler's Sergio Marchionne named CEO of Ferrari

Business / Business News /

DETROIT -- Sergio Marchionne was appointed CEO of Ferrari on Monday and will retain his title as chairman of the exotic automaker as the company continues to push forward with its global expansion plan.

The appointment is not expected to affect Marchionne's other corporate responsibilities, which include his role as CEO of Fiat Chrysler ...Read more

Gannett asks Tribune Publishing shareholders to withhold support for directors

Business / Business News /

CHICAGO -- Gannett is ramping up its efforts to acquire Tribune Publishing by going directly to shareholders, but not going so far as to initiate a hostile takeover bid for the Chicago-based publisher of the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times.

In a filing made with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday, Gannett asks shareholders ...Read more

International Paper says it is buying Weyerhaeuser's pulp business

Business / Business News /

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- International Paper Co. said Monday that it would buy Weyerhaeuser Co.'s pulp business in a deal valued at $1.9 billion, including a $300 million tax benefit.

Memphis-based International Paper said it expects to save about $175 million annually by the end of 2018 due to cost cuts and combined purchasing power.

The purchase is...Read more

Chicago woman sues Starbucks for $5 million over amount of ice in cold drinks

Business / Business News /

CHICAGO -- A Chicago woman is suing Starbucks for more than $5 million for allegedly underfilling its iced coffee, tea and blended drinks.

Plaintiff Stacy Pincus argues in the lawsuit that the amount of ice Starbucks uses in its drinks means customers get less of the actual beverage.

Starbucks' cold drink cups have three black lines on the ...Read more

'Jungle Book' adds to box-office streak

Business / Business News /

LOS ANGELES -- For the third straight week, Disney's "The Jungle Book" bested all others at the box office, pushing its worldwide gross to almost $700 million and continuing a hot streak for the Burbank entertainment giant.

The studio's retelling of the classic Rudyard Kipling story pulled in an estimated $42.4 million in the U.S. and Canada, ...Read more

Warren Buffett says business would be fine with either Trump or Clinton

Business / Business News /

A Donald Trump presidency wouldn't be the blow to U.S. business that some fear, Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway, said at the company's annual shareholders meeting Saturday.

"If either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton becomes president, and one of them is very likely to be, I think Berkshire will ...Read more

Susan Tompor: Scammers now ask you to pay taxes with an iTunes card

Business / Business News /

The Beatles had a song about the taxman.

"Be thankful I don't take it all," the lyrics go. "Cos I'm the taxman, yeah I'm the taxman."

Flash forward 50 years to all those IRS impersonation calls. We better add another verse: "Oh, yeah, I'm the scam man."

The federal government warned consumers in late April that scammers are singing a new tune...Read more

Gail MarksJarvis: Prince's death illustrates importance of having a will

Business / Business News /

Pop music star Prince apparently died without writing a will, and it's likely that his relatives and business contacts will be fighting in a Minnesota court for years over his estate, estimated at $150 million to $300 million.

With no wife or children, first in line, according to estate law, are Prince's five siblings. Under simple court rules ...Read more

Feds investigating payment service Venmo for possible deceptive practices

Business / Business News /

LOS ANGELES -- Popular peer-to-peer payment service Venmo is under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission in connection with possible unfair and deceptive practices.

It's the latest sign of increased regulatory scrutiny of emerging financial technology firms, and at least the second time Venmo may have run afoul of regulators.

Venmo's ...Read more