Jan Lee

Jan Lee is a former news editor and award-winning editorial writer whose non-fiction and fiction have been published in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the U.K. and Australia. Her articles and posts can be found on TriplePundit, JustMeans, and her blog, The Multicultural Jew, as well as other publications. She currently splits her residence between the city of Vancouver, British Columbia and the rural farmlands of Idaho.

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New Labor Ruling: What Does It Mean for Small Business Contractors?

By tweaking what defines a “joint employer,” the National Labor Relations Board has made sweeping changes to what steps unions can take in collective bargaining, as well as who may be considered the ’employer’ in business-to-contractor settings, such as franchise establishments. And hold onto your hat, because there will probably be some vigorous challenges to this new ruling.

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Twitter Sets Diversity Goals, But Experts Say That’s Not Enough

Twitter’s recent announcement that it is setting diversity goals for 2016 is no surprise. It’s the latest tech company to ‘come clean’ about its remarkable hiring practices when it comes to women and ethnic minorities. But even with its bold leadership goals for next year, some analysts say the metrics aren’t the answer. The corporate structure that gets those numbers is what needs to change.

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Toxic Lead: Nestle’s $100M Pot of Troubles in India

The Maggi brand is big business for Nestle, especially in India, where it is considered the go-to, inexpensive staple for many households. But the world’s biggest food manufacturer is in trouble with the government of India, which launched a suit for $100 million against Nestle for excessive lead levels in popular packaged noodles. Many of Maggi’s loyal consumers, however, could care less about the battle — they just want their noodles on the shelves.

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SmartHalo Exceeds Kickstarter Goal on Day One

Smart bike tools are smart marketing concepts these days, as Cyclelabs’ new Kickstarter project, SmartHalo, proved this week. It took less than 24 hours to make its goal of $50,000. (And the funding is still rising.) Intelligent planning, deep research and a lot of careful marketing put the campaign into overdrive. Oh, and a global love for cycling concepts.

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Costco Slapped with Suit for ‘Slave Labor’ Shrimp

It’s tough running a globally-sourced retail corporation these days, especially when you rely on a gray market for your merchandise, as Costco already found out. Now it faces a class-action suit that alleges it has been selling prawns harvested by slave labor in Thailand. But the real victims likely don’t know anything about the suit, as they aren’t named as plaintiffs.

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Marine Stewardship Council Develops a New Chain-of-Custody Monitor

With seafood stocks rapidly declining in many sectors of the industry, the push is on to find ways to improve sustainable fishing methods and make it easier for consumers to purchase wisely. Offering a potential solution, the Marine Stewardship Council’s new sustainability monitor is primed, tested and ready for industry stakeholders’ critical input.

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The Political Balancing Game: Obama Okays Arctic Drilling

Why did President Obama give the green flag to arctic drilling in the Chukchi Sea? And what does it mean for the environment? There’s a million theories about why the president, who has made climate change solutions his administration’s legacy, has opened the door to Shell’s petition. But could we expect anything different in a region defined by human nature and geopolitical competition for world resources?

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Studies: Number of Rural Firefighters Dropping, Megafires Increasing

Most firefighters in the U.S. are volunteer, and many are the first line of defense when it comes to forest fires that threaten America’s small and large communities. According to recent studies, volunteer firefighters are also on the decline, thanks to economics and other issues that make volunteering a challenge. Last month’s findings by a University of Idaho research team suggest this may not be the time to lay down the pick ax and hose — megafires are on the increase, and are liable to be more frequent as climate change escalates.

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E-waste: The Nuts and Bolts of Why It Still Plagues our Landfills

We’re a recycling society these days. Wherever you live, chances are there’s a recycle program for a myriad of reusable items – even your electronics. But the most precious material that we use in our offices, homes and recreation still can’t be economically recycled. And it’s a looming problem for the environment, and for our evolving green economy.

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Dissecting the Farm-to-Table Fable

To hear some farmers tell it, the farm-to-table concept doesn’t work. There’s too much opportunity for restaurants to build on hype, and too little assurance the consumer is getting what is paid for. But one popular farm-to-table program is defying that statement, proving that farm-to-table partnerships can not only inspire consumers to come to the table, but sink valuable dollars into regional businesses as well.

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Patagonia and Wild Ideas Buffalo Team Up for Ecology

The history of the Great Northern Grasslands tells a story of heartbreak. But they also reflect an enormous ecological legacy as the home of the buffalo. Two companies say that they can help nurture that relationship and the recovery of the grasslands with a new commercial venture that offers consumers better products and the grasslands and its residents a more sustainable existence.

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Major U.K. Bank Bans All-Male Management Shortlists

The U.K.’s financial sector, much like North America’s tech industry, is still struggling to expand gender diversity in its ranks. But Lloyds Banking Group has come up with a novel answer: It’s banned shortlists that don’t include a certain percentage of eligible women candidates and warned headhunters that their services to Lloyds may be impacted if they can’t comply with the request. Ouch!

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The Diminishing Tuna: Round Two

How do you stop the extinction of a species? That seems to be today’s big question, especially when it comes to finding world consensus on overfishing.

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Setting Goals for Diversity: The Silicon Valley Challenge

You know it can’t be a good sign when a congressional caucus turns up at your door to ask about your diversity numbers. But it’s also an indicator of the changes taking place in business these days — particularly in the under-diversified Silicon Valley.

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Shell Battles for Drilling Amid Plummeting Profits in Second Quarter

It’s been a rough week for Royal Dutch Shell. Profits are down, angst about its Arctic oil-drilling operations are way up, and costs for previous oil spill fiascos are still on the books. There’s a lot riding on the oil and gas giant’s rep, and it doesn’t seem to be getting a lot of sympathy from the shoreline.