February 11, 2021

As last year came to a close and news about Covid-19 vaccinations became more optimistic, companies across the country hoped that a quick vaccine rollout would allow them to reopen offices as early as spring 2021. That rapid rollout still has not come to pass, though, causing many businesses to push back their office-reopening plans until September at the earliest. In the meantime, millions of employees will continue to work remotely until the pandemic is finally under control.

For example, Continue reading

Continue reading...

February 4, 2021

With vaccines from major pharmaceutical companies becoming more widely available every day, it is imperative that as many people as possible get vaccinated in order to finally contain the pandemic. Grocery store employees have been especially vulnerable to the virus over the last year, with at least 28,000 workers being exposed to a positive case of Covid-19. That’s why grocery chains like Aldi, Trader Joe’s, and Dollar General are paying their employees to get vaccinated when they are able to. Continue reading

Continue reading...

December 1, 2020

With the holiday shopping season in full swing, retailers are hoping that they can attract lots of Christmas customers to offset the losses of an especially hard year. In normal circumstances, stores would roll out the red carpet for Santa Claus and his elves to set up shop and learn about exactly what kids wanted to see under their trees. But due to the pandemic, this year mall Santas will be following extra precautions that could take away from the Continue reading

Continue reading...

November 3, 2020

Today is election day, and major companies across the country are taking measures to ensure that their employees can go out and vote. While Bank of America workers will receive three hours of paid time off to go to the polls, Best Buy stores will remain closed until noon so staffers can vote in the morning. Paypal offered paid half days for employees who volunteer at polling places. “Companies can’t do everything, but we can function in civil society in Continue reading

Continue reading...

October 22, 2020

Last week, another 787,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits. This represents a drop from the stretch of months where more than 1 million people filed for unemployment week after week, but it nevertheless reflects a deeply strained economy. “The ranks of people applying for extended unemployment are starting to make it look like a traditional recession,” said economist Diane Swonk. “This leaves scars in the labor force, is demoralizing, and increases health risks for workers…We’re not calling people back Continue reading

Continue reading...

October 13, 2020

As brick-and-mortar retailers struggle to make ends meet during the pandemic, e-commerce outlets like Amazon are thriving as consumers purchase more products from home than ever before. Experts expect that this trend will continue into the holiday shopping season, which can drive as much as 30 percent of retailers’ overall sales. So while companies would normally be hiring extra cashiers to prepare for Christmas, this year they’re bringing in warehouse workers to handle the high volume of online orders.  Continue reading

Continue reading...

August 27, 2020

For nearly every week since March, millions of Americans have filed for unemployment benefits as the economy continues to struggle with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. And last week was no exception: once again more than 1 million people filed for unemployment for the first time. All together, more than 27 million people applied for benefits as the jobless rate hovers around the 10 percent mark. 

“It’s massively concerning that five months into this crisis we are still Continue reading

Continue reading...

August 24, 2020

In 2018, California’s Supreme Court ruled against a delivery company that classified its employees as independent contractors. This landmark decision was followed two years later by official legislation that required businesses throughout the state to turn contracted staff into full-time workers or else face legal action. The most prominent targets of this new law were Uber and Lyft, the rideshare giants that employ tens of thousands of people as independent contractors. 

According to consumer advocates, drivers for Uber and Continue reading

Continue reading...

August 20, 2020

As companies across all industries look for ways to reduce contact between employees during the pandemic, many are turning to automated labor as a way both to stay safe and trim costs. This video looks at how advanced robotic technology could change workplaces in the long term while also examining the potential limitations of automation. 

Questions:

  1. Why are many companies investing in automated labor during the pandemic?
  2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of automation?
Continue reading...

August 7, 2020

Airline passenger volume has plummeted by 95 percent during the coronavirus pandemic, wiping out tens of billions of dollars in revenue in the process. This video looks at how airlines are fighting to survive these unprecedented times by furloughing employees, limiting flight capacity, and retiring old aircraft like the Boeing 747. 

Questions: 

  1. What measures are airlines taking to cut costs during the pandemic? 
  2. What are the potential long term consequences of furloughing employees like pilots?
Continue reading...