In the guest chair:
Uniquely Virtual is a virtual executive assistant service powered by a SaaS platform. They are on a mission to give people back the 40% of their day they spend completing administrative task. Uniquely Virtual employs qualified professionals who were impacted by the downturn of the economy. This firm integrates seamlessly with clients’ work lives to improve their productivity and satisfaction.
- New Department of Labor ‘joint employer’ guidance could make businesses liable for contractors’ labor practices. No new laws were passed, but David Weil, administrator of the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division, issued an “administrator’s interpretation” yesterday on how the joint employer standard should be applied under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Weil says his guidance simply “reflects existing policy” and is designed to “serve as a road map to compliance” with labor laws in situations where two or more companies jointly employ workers. Some examples of the concern are in cases where a company hires a staffing firm and then is liable for back pay for minimum wage or overtime violations by the staffing firm. Also – in the construction world – general contractors possibly being held liable for the misdeeds of their subs.
- Remember the whole red cup debacle and Starbucks over the holiday? It amounted to a whole lotta nothing. Meaning Starbucks bottom line did not suffer AT ALL. Starbucks is set to report it’s fiscal first-quarter results today and analysts expect earnings of 45 cents a share for the period ending in December, up from 40 cents in the same period a year earlier. Revenue is estimated to rise 12%.
- Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will give nearly all of its hourly store employees a pay raise next month…not just minimum wage earners. This is an attempt by the country’s largest private employer to combat a tighter labor market and chronic turnover. The across-the-board pay hike is aimed at addressing concerns raised by some longtime workers, who complained about the more-generous starting wages for new hires. The company is also trying to stem defections and the amount of money it spends to hire and train new staff. Wal-Mart loses hundreds of thousands of store workers each year, a Wal-Mart executive said last October.
- The live streaming wacko Martin Shkreli has been subpoenaed to appear before a The House Committee on Oversight and Reform next week. The former (and now fired) pharmaceutical CEO made headlines when his company raised the price of a drug used by AIDS patients by 5,000%. Assuming he isn’t too busy strumming his guitar or googling himself, Shkreli will testify on January 26 at a hearing on “developments in the prescription drug market.” (Why anyone would believe anything he says is a mystery to Dana).
- Volvo has made a shocking pledge: By 2020, no one will be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car or SUV. One of their models already has a great track record – no deaths in over 4 year… they are now saying all of their cars will have that level of safety by 2020.
- Big news for this week’s Tech Tuesday guest…QASymphony announced yesterday that they have raised a $5 million Series B round. The company, which makes software testing tools has offices in Atlanta, Georgia and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam They plan to use the capital on product development and marketing. Congrats to them!
- Merchant e-Solutions, a global financial technology firm is putting its US headquarters in Atlanta… The move will create more than 140 jobs in Buckhead’s Live Oak Square.
- Georgia Tech has plans and the funds to build a new $23 million research center that will develop new processes and techniques for manufacturing living cells used in cell-based therapies. $15.7 million dollars is coming from the Marcus Foundation with the rest coming from Georgia Research Alliance and Georgia Tech. The center will also look for funding from federal agencies, clinical research organizations and other sources. The new center, called the Marcus Center for Therapeutic Cell Characterization and Manufacturing (MC3M), will help standardize production and testing for the cells. Standardized manufacturing techniques already exist for drug-based pharmaceuticals, and the center will find similar methods and standards for manufacturing therapeutic cells.
- So maybe we’ll have a few less new Georgia cities in our future. Two Georgia lawmakers introduced a constitutional amendment Wednesday that would set the stage for a new model of local government. The legislation would allow the creation of townships in Georgia as an alternative to cities.
For other events and appearances: check out Dana’s event calendar: http://danabarrett.com/events/.