work

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Overland Park writer Jen Mann was inspired to create her People I Want to Punch in the Throat blog by, well, all the people she wants to punch in the throat. Today, we speak with the New York Times best-selling author about the latest installment in her snarky series, and about the people she's worked with who almost — almost! — forced her to fisticuffs.

The federal government is the largest employer in Kansas City. Who are these employees and what do they do? A talk with federal employees in the Midwest, and what the government looks like from their perspective.

Plus, a local artist is reviving the video store. She operates a VHS lending library out of her bedroom, and she'll be going mobile to bring VHS tapes across the plains.

Guests:

What do Kansas Citians expect from higher education? A job that pays well? The chance to learn for the sake of learning ... or something else?

As the cost of college goes up, saddling graduates with debt, we explore the point of higher education ... and whether its concepts are in touch with today's reality.

Guests:

Missouri unions assess losses, victories on May Day

May 1, 2017

International Workers’ Day, often marked by protests, marches and celebrations by organized labor, may be muted in Missouri this year due to restrictions passed by the state legislature.

“We’ve definitely taken a few hits this year, there’s no doubt,” said Pat White, president of the St. Louis Labor Council AFL-CIO.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

In 2010, Kansas City Public Schools closed nearly 30 schools, mostly because of declining enrollment and a budget deficit. Some of these buildings are still in limbo, and others have been sold, leased, or mothballed for future use.

At the former Westport Middle School at 200 E. 39th Street, classrooms, where students used to work on projects, are now co-working spaces for entrepreneurs. 

Dave Dugdale / Flickr - CC

Several factors influence a person's financial health: age, career choice, dependents ... but gender? According to a 2016 report by Financial Finesse, a firm that manages financial wellness programs for employers, women are not as financially secure in the long-term when compared to their male counterparts, especially among millennials. Today, the Smart Money Experts discuss methods of closing that gap and suggest budget workouts to help achieve fiscal fitness.

A recent study from the Brookings Institution suggests that the vast majority of our country's high-tech jobs are clustered in just a handful of cities. Local tech experts argue Kansas City, Missouri is on its way to the center of that cluster. 

Is Kansas City a tech hub? What factors are influencing the "rise of the rest" in our region?

Guests:

401(K) 2012 / Flickr - CC

Whether or not you enjoy your career, you likely plan on permanently leaving the workforce at some point. With longer life expectancy rates, and shrinking stability in government pension programs, hopeful retirees are right to be concerned about the financial viability of doing so. Today, Up To Date's Smart Money Experts detail pragmatic planning tactics and crisis control for those currently in danger of outliving their assets.

Laura Spencer / KCUR 89.3

Co-working is a growing trend for freelancers, small businesses, and startups. It provides a place to work, interact with others and share expenses. But artists, and makers of all kinds, often have specialized needs, when it comes to light, space, or tools. 

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

Over concerns about the exclusivity of the local tech scene, one Kansas City man wants to create a startup community near the 18th and Vine District for minority entrepreneurs. We also hear from a former Kansas City Star writer about her life in the Flint Hills and the transition to new work.

Employers throughout the nation will soon need to ensure all salaried workers are making at least $47,476 annually, or will need to make them eligible for overtime pay by changing their status to hourly. The new rules about who is and isn't eligible for overtime are set to go into effect on December 1, 2016, but 21 states have joined in a lawsuit to have the higher standards declared invalid.

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The federal government created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to enforce laws aimed at reducing discrimination in the workplace. In its 51-year history, the commission has made real progress but work remains to be done.

Guest:

Your Space

Aug 3, 2016

Outside of home, we spend the most time at work. How does your workspace impact your productivity and creativity? From cubicles to work benches to studios, how to design your own utopia.

 

Guests:

 

You know the story; with a good education, hard work, and a little stick-to-itiveness, you can make a better life for yourself and your kids. It's quite literally the American dream. Political scientist and author Robert D. Putnam wonders, though, if that narrative is becoming less attainable.

Working For The Weekend

May 2, 2016
James Carr / Wikipedia

The weekend is a beloved institution. It allows us time "for what we will." It also has a storied past in America. That history, plus an examination of the work week in transition. Are we losing the 40-hour work week and with it the weekend? Or are we gaining flexibility?

Guests:

How many times have you dreamed that your workplace was anywhere but a cubicle in an office? Perhaps a beach somewhere? On this edition of Up To Date, we speak with people who have given up their permanent residence for a laptop, a passport and a travel guide.

Guests:

These days, we've become accustomed to booking our own travel and pumping our own gas, but there was a time when tasks like bagging groceries was a job someone was paid to do. We discuss the social and financial implications of filling our day with additional unpaid tasks.

Guest:

 On this edition of Up to Date we look at two approaches to being happy with what you do: finding a way to make your passion your work, or making better decisions in the job you have.

Guests:

Freelance Exchange of KC

America's 53 million freelancers are their own bosses, but face not having health insurance and job security. Up to Date looks at the pros and cons of freelance work and organizations that provide support for independent workers. 

Guests:

Stephen Koranda / KPR

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has signed into law a bill allowing more workers compensation claims for firefighters and law enforcement officers.

Previously, emergency responders had not been able to collect workers compensation for heart attacks or strokes.

More than 40 years ago, Kansas rewrote workers compensation laws. Part of that created a rule that said a worker couldn't collect workers comp for heart attacks or strokes related to their job unless it was caused by an unusually high level of exertion that isn't normally required for the job.

KCUR

Office holiday parties are in full swing in Kansas City.

And we want to know, how can you festively fraternize with your coworkers without jeopardizing your employment?

Tell KCUR: What are the dos and don’ts at holiday office parties?

Tweet us @KCUR, using the #TellKCUR hashtag.

You also can go to our Facebook page; leave us a voicemail at 816-235-2881, or write a comment below.

RelaxingMusic / Flickr - CC

We live in a wired, digital world where our work is as portable as a smartphone or tablet. It’s tempting to check our email or reply to a message when we should be more focused on ‘living in the moment.' For many people, the work week is stretched far beyond the typical 40-hours per week. But in a fast-paced work environment, how does one rationalize between putting food on the table, and still being able to enjoy life?

What is balance?

Victor1588 / Flickr - CC

A boss can make or break a job. Lack of manager training, promoting for the wrong reasons, and even personal character flaws have resulted in multiple "bad bosses" making the work environment for many stressful, or even toxic. According to an American Psychological Association survey, three-fourths of Americans suffer from workplace stress. And that stress can take a toll.

A few weeks after the end of the 2013 legislative session, Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones offered a report card to Springfield residents. It was one of 17 planned stops this week throughout southern Missouri.

The Republican from Eureka used two large poster boards displaying various legislative accomplishments as talking points. Among them were the approval of bills for paycheck protection, prevailing wage, and reform of the financially troubled Second Injury Fund, of which the Speaker says he’s most proud.

The Missouri House has passed legislation that would bring the state’s workplace discrimination standard in line with the federal one.

Under the bill, discrimination would have to be a motivating factor in wrongful actions taken against employees, instead of a contributing factor as it is now under Missouri law. 

The bill was sponsored by Republican Kevin Elmer of Christian County.

“We’re bringing it into accordance by alleviating employers from being trapped in litigation for months and months and years on end.  We will still will punish the wrongdoer.”

Why Do We Work?

Sep 12, 2012

On Wednesday’s Central Standard, special guest host Brian Ellison talks with psychologist Dr. Bruce Liese about the meaning of work.

Why do we work? Are we searching for more than a job, more than a paycheck? How does one find their “calling?” Plus, we’ll discuss the role that the modern-day office job plays in the development of personal relationships.

Politics in the Workplace

Jul 12, 2012
PMAA

Are there legal repercussions for political expression in the workplace? Find out, as we talk with lawyer Brian Finucane, who specializes in labor and employment law.

Missouri Senators propose fix for blind pension funding.  A Missouri House committee hears a stripped-down version of a workplace discrimination bill.  Advocacy groups call for Missouri to raise more revenue with a bake sale.  It’s a daily digest of headlines from  KCUR.

A newcomer upsets an education veteran for a spot on the Kansas City School Board, Cass County voters pass a half-cent sales tax to upgrade emergency dispatch systems, and more election results and headlines from KCUR.

According to a Kansas City Star article by sportswriter Kent Babb, "secrecy, intimidation, fear and a watchful eye have become hallmarks of working for the Chiefs."

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