MARY BRASWELL: Looking Back, Aug. 31, 2014

HISTORY: On this Labor Day eve, enjoy this hodgepodge of work-related facts.

Each week Albany Herald researcher Mary Braswell looks for interesting events, places and people from the past. You can contact her at (229) 888-9371 or mary.braswell@albanyherald.com.

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. here is a look at work/job related facts and figures.


— Federal law does not require lunch or coffee breaks. However, when employers do offer short breaks (usually lasting about 5 to 20 minutes), federal law considers the breaks as work hours.

— From January 2011 through December 2013, 4.3 million workers were displaced from jobs they had held for at least three years.

— The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) protects certain applicants and employees 40 years of age and older from discrimination on the basis of age in hiring, promotion, discharge, compensation, or terms, conditions or privileges of employment. The ADEA is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

— The Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988 (EPPA) generally prevents employers from using lie detector tests, either for pre-employment screening or during the course of employment.

— The Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require overtime pay for work on weekends, holidays, or regular days of rest, unless overtime is worked on such days.

— Wage garnishment is a legal procedure in which a person’s earnings are required by court order to be withheld by an employer for the payment of a debt such as child support or delinquent taxes. An employer is prohibited from discharging an employee whose earnings have been subject to garnishment for any one debt, regardless of the number of levies made or proceedings brought to collect it.

— The 2014 inductees into the U.S. Department of Labor Hall of Honor are the Chinese railroad workers. From 1865-69, 12,000 Chinese immigrants constructed the western section of the transcontinental railroad, one of the greatest engineering feats in American history.

— Extra pay for working night shifts is a matter of agreement between the employer and the employee (or the employee’s representative). The FLSA does not require extra pay for night work.

— The Plain Writing Act of 2010 requires federal agencies to write “clear Government communication that the public can understand and use.” The U.S. Department of Labor has been committed to writing documents in plain language since 2011.

— According to statistics given on the U.S. Department of Labor website, there have been nine “fatal occupational injuries” in the Albany Metropolitan Area from 2005 through 2012.


(Answers at the end of the column)

My job is to …

  1. Spend most of the day looking out the window.

  2. Go to strange people’s houses and take their money.

  3. Help people despise one another.

  4. Arrive after the battle and bayonet all the wounded.

  5. Talk in other people’s sleep.


Hobbies: I enjoy cooking Chinese and Italians.

Objective: I would like to work for a company that is very lax when it comes to tardiness.

Experience: stalking, shipping and receiving

Reason for leaving last job: maturity leave

Skills: I can type without looking atthekeyboard.

Job duties: answer phones, file papers, take odors

Languages: I speak English and Spinach.

Qualifications: My twin sister has an accounting degree.

Salary requirements: the higher the better

Emergency contact: 911

— Accomplishments: completed 11 years of high school

Education: I have a bachelorette degree in computers.

Additional skills: I am able to say the ABCs backwards in under five seconds.


— Employees born between 1980 and 1985 waste almost four times as much time while on the clock as those born between 1930 and 1949.

— Roughly 47 percent of employees working in an office say office politics take away from their productivity.

— On an average day, there are 17 million work-related meetings in America.

— Only 25 percent of sick days taken are actually for illness.

— A “to do” list is used by about 70 percent of business and professional people.

— Angry people are twice as likely to suffer a heart attack as compared to a person in better control of his or her emotions. More heart attacks occur on Monday than any other day and 75 percent of all heart attacks occur between 5 a.m.-8 a.m.

Women business owners employ 35 percent more people than all the Fortune 500 companies combined.

— More than 50 percent of lost work days are stress-related, keeping approximately one million people home from work every day.


— The average pay for an ice cream taster is $56,000 per year.

— Working as a live mannequin or human statue pays up to $200 per hour.

Cruise ship entertainers make $3,000 -$4,500 per month, plus room, great food, pool privileges, no utility bills and other perks.

— Young and healthy sperm or egg donors can make a pretty good income. While males are usually paid up to $200 per donation, a woman can make up to $8,000 per donation.

— An elevator mechanic averages $70,000 per year in good-sized cities.


“The man with the best job in the country is the vice president. All he has to do is get up every morning and say, ‘How is the president?’” — Will Rogers

“Work is a necessity for man. Man invented the alarm clock.” — Pablo Picasso

“A man who works hard stinks only to the ones that have nothing to do but smell.” — Laura Ingalls Wilder

“If you put all your strength and faith and vigor into a job and try to do the best you can, the money will come.” — Lawrence Welk

What’s my line answers: 1. pilot 2. pizza delivery person 3. divorce lawyer 4. tax auditor 5. preacher