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Your Office Coach: Worker loses mother and job

Business / Business News /

Q: I have apparently been fired because I took time off to help my dying mother. For seven years, I was employed by a physician who frequently praised my work. Six months ago, when my mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, "Dr. Parker" approved my taking an unpaid leave of absence to care for her.

Before I left, Dr. Parker gave me a goodbye hug...Read more

Liz Reyer: How to deal with others' missed deadlines

Business / Business News /

Q: I've been assigned to a project and am responsible for a specific part of the work. People upstream from me are not getting their work done on time, but my timelines are not changing. What can I do to be successful -- or at least not be the scapegoat?

--Alain, 35, director of quality assurance

A: First of all, even though you can't move ...Read more

Diane Stafford: Freelance isn't free: Watch this play out in the gig economy

Business / Business News /

On the theory that trends move in from the coasts, a law that went into effect May 15 in New York City needs national notice.

The city's new Freelance Isn't Free Act addresses no-pay and slow-pay problems for freelancers in the growing gig economy. It's believed to be the country's first such law.

An estimated 4 million workers in New York ...Read more

Rex Huppke: Bosses must become vacation evangelists

Business / Business News /

In the nearly six years of this column's glorious existence, I've never shied from offering controversial workplace opinions.

Today will be no different: I think vacations are a good thing.

Yeah, I said it -- let the hate rain down on me from the two or three people who might disagree. I feed on your outrage, suckers.

I went back to the very ...Read more

Health insurers plan higher premiums as exasperation with Trump grows

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- Health insurers across the country are making plans to significantly raise premiums or leave Affordable Care Act marketplaces as exasperation grows with the Trump administration's erratic management of the program.

Meanwhile, state insurance regulators -- Democratic and Republican -- have increasingly concluded they cannot count ...Read more

Arconic, hedge fund strike peace deal

Business / Business News /

PITTSBURGH -- Arconic and Elliott Management announced Monday they have resolved their bitter proxy fight, with the specialty metals part maker agreeing to put three more representatives of the activist hedge fund on its board of directors.

Arconic also agreed to elect its entire board annually and do away with a requirement for a supermajority...Read more

Ford ousts CEO as auto industry faces transformation

Business / Business News /

SAN FRANCISCO -- In the latest sign that driverless cars and other revolutionary new technologies are shaking automakers to their roots, the chief executive of Ford Motor Co. just got tossed.

The replacement of Mark Fields with Jim Hackett, who had been running a new unit focused on cutting-edge transportation, is a big deal for Ford. But with ...Read more

Ford names new CEO amid management shake-up

Business / Business News /

DETROIT -- Ford confirmed on Monday that, in a wide-ranging reshuffling of the company's top management, Jim Hackett will become the automaker's new CEO. The move brings the three-year tenure of Mark Fields as chief executive to an abrupt end.

In comments Monday Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford praised the tenure and achievements of Fields but...Read more

Trump administration gets delays on decision over legal challenge to Obamacare aid for the poor

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- A federal court Monday granted the Trump administration more time to decide how to handle a lawsuit challenging federal healthcare aid for low-income Americans who rely on Obamacare health plans.

The move may put off a showdown over the assistance, which health insurers and many experts believe is crucial to sustaining insurance ...Read more

How the Koch network could sink tax overhaul

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- The lobbying and political network of Charles and David Koch, bogeymen to Democrats for years, is poised for a significant policy win -- but it will come at the expense of fellow conservatives on Capitol Hill.

Their victory also could derail a policy goal they share with those same Republican lawmakers: a permanent comprehensive ...Read more

'Alien: Covenant' barely overpowers 'Guardians' at box office

Business / Business News /

LOS ANGELES -- After almost 40 years, audiences are still interested in the "Alien" universe. Ridley Scott's "Alien: Covenant," from 20th Century Fox, dethroned Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2," which had topped the box office for two straight weeks. Meanwhile, Warner Bros.' "Everything, Everything" and Fox's" "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" ...Read more

Canada prepared for talks to rework NAFTA, trade minister says

Business / Business News /

HANOI, Vietnam –– Canada is prepared to start talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement and is confident it will get a successful outcome, Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said Sunday.

"When you start a discussion you start with saying, 'Well, we're the first client'," Champagne said on the sidelines of a ...Read more

Victims of alleged U.S. visa fraud sue to get their money back

Business / Business News /

William Lim, wanting an American education for his children, said he put $500,000 into a visa program that provides green cards in exchange for job-creating investments in the U.S.

After giving his money to the California Investment Immigrant Fund in 2011, the Chinese businessman took annual trips to Los Angeles. Each time, he said, a ...Read more

Bluemercury founder taking neighborhood approach to luxury beauty, spa service sales

Business / Business News /

CHICAGO -- When Barry and Marla Beck launched Bluemercury in 1999 as an upscale, neighborhood alternative to the department store beauty-buying experience, they had to convince brands and investors to sell beauty outside the mall. Even their company's name -- a combination of Marla's favorite color and ancient Roman messenger god Mercury, a nod ...Read more

Why kale is everywhere: How food trends are born

Business / Business News /

CHICAGO -- Kale has had quite a run.

Less than a decade ago, the leafy green vegetable was used primarily for decoration on salad bars. Now kale, known for its health benefits, is so ubiquitous that even McDonald's uses it in salads. There are kale chips and kale crackers. And its appearance on Midwestern restaurant menus has soared nearly 1,...Read more

How I Made It: How being thrown into the deep end by Mark Zuckerberg prepared Aditya Agarwal to lead

Business / Business News /

Aditya Agarwal, 34, is the chief technology officer of online file storage company Dropbox. He leads hundreds of software engineers in building tools used by Dropbox's half a billion registered users. With a multibillion-dollar valuation, the privately held company is considered a heavyweight in the personal and business data storage industries....Read more

Michael Hiltzik: If Trump thinks he can get more than 3 percent economic growth, he's dreaming

Business / Business News /

With the political world deeply focused on the question of whether the Trump Administration comprises a gang of Russian pawns, less attention has been devoted to more mundane questions such as: what ever happened to Trump's economic policy?

As it happens, economists are keeping their eye on that ball, and their conclusion is that it's in a bad ...Read more

Susan Tompor: Crooked tech support outfits steal nearly $25 million

Business / Business News /

Carolyn Aronson got caught not once, but twice, by tech-support scams, to the tune of $800.

The first time, she was trying to download Windows 10 for free back in 2015. But a dire-looking warning popped onto the screen.

"All of a sudden, my computer just went nuts," said Aronson, 74. "I'm rattled at this point."

So she quickly called the ...Read more

Special counsel's investigation could reach into Trump's business empire

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- The appointment of a special counsel empowered to investigate ties between Russia and Donald Trump's presidential campaign now brings the developer's business empire under scrutiny.

It's an entirely new ballgame for the Trump Organization, which until the counsel's appointment Wednesday had been somewhat removed from the political...Read more

AT&T strike may close your local store this weekend

Business / Business News /

If you are an AT&T customer, you might have woken up Friday and thought to yourself, "Why, this weekend would provide a perfect opportunity for me to finally get down to my corner AT&T store, see about upgrading to a new cellphone and, maybe, look into subscribing to DirecTV!"

But you might want to put those thoughts aside and make other plans....Read more

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