Alberta businesses size up $15 minimum wage

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Minimum wage is a much-discussed topic in Alberta, as this year it will climb to the highest rate in the country: $12.20 an hour. It is set to climb to $15 in 2018. While the provincial New Democrats’ raise has been widely protested by several business groups, who warn it will lead to job losses, some businesses support it. “If businesses do not pay their employees a living wage,” says Devin Goss, co-founder of BluPlanet Recycling, “then they pass on the responsibility of covering the gap to the rest of the community.” The debate has also advanced other arguments, including a two-tier minimum wage with a lower amount set for teenagers who live with a parent. B.C. has also grappled with the question, as it hiked its minimum wage to $10.85 September 15. (CBC)
Keep a few of your favourite things to yourself if you’re a 50-year-old looking for work in Silicon Valley. That’s the advice of one Generation X-er who made an effort to use Reddit rather than Julie Andrews for her cultural references in conversations with her much-younger new colleagues. Ageism is pervasive in tech (at age 22, Mark Zuckerberg told a Stanford audience that “younger people are just smarter”) but the older generations are not bowing out. Some are fighting age discrimination in court, and others are going to great lengths to seem younger­—starting a blog, shunning the suit, getting plastic surgery—as they compete against their children’s generation for jobs. (Bloomberg)
Het nieuwe werken is a Dutch-coined term meaning “the new way of working,” to describe the digitally connected office of today that purportedly promotes creativity and entrepreneurial talent. These ideals are reflected in elements of modern office design such as open plans, glass walls, communal table-desks, high ceilings and shiny monochrome gadgets. The new office, with its breezy minimalism, is the design equivalent of everyone’s friend. It has a pleasant nature that is also devoid of substance—it is everywhere and nowhere. Does it also reflect the flipside of flexibility and mobility? The sense that we are always at work, and always in danger of not having work? (New Republic)
Happiness has long been recognized as a commodity—sold by leadership gurus, hawked by Disneyland and modelled by customer service agents everywhere. Increasingly, firms are offering well-being as a corporate perk as well, showering their employees with mindfulness courses, yoga lessons, and meaningful vision statements. But is happiness all it’s cracked up to be? Maybe companies should concentrate on eliminating specific annoyances instead, such as time-wasting meetings and pointless memos. (The Economist)