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Monday Workplace News Roundup

Hope you had a terrific Mother's Day weekend. Here are some headlines catching my eye today:

Hear her roar: The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) elected its first female president over the weekend. She's also one of the first openly gay union leaders ever.

Are franchisees employees or contractors? We'll get an answer soon.

Temporary glitch: New York Gov. David Patterson gears up to furlough state workers but exempts temporary workers. Now the unions are a little bit angry.

Do it now, not later: Connecticut company United Technologies implements the new national health care laws for its 72,000 employees four months before it's required to do so.

Ignorance is biz: 49% of employers in a new Wells Fargo retirement survey admit they don't know if their employees are able to retire.

State of inertia: Science teachers want parents to get more involved in teaching science to their children, if only more parents knew the difference between a Petri dish and a Bunsen burner.

Sickening prospect: A survey of 1,000 employees found more than three-fourths would opt to return from sick leave while they are still sick.

Subsidize me: Uninsured rolls were lower in 2009 thanks to the federal COBRA subsidy.

Please steer clear: American consumers want Congress to regulate the hell out of Wall Street but to avoid changing how they buy cars.

Accounting 101: The IRS is going after universities for leaving out important details related to salary packages and business dealings.

Generation Y Meeee?: A new University of New Hampshire study concludes Gen Y employees are overly entitled, overly sensitive and kind of lazy. In other news, Gen Yers really, really want to get on their parents' insurance plans because they don't have jobs. Go figure.

Meanwhile, the New York Times declares Gen Xers are having a midlife crisis at the same time the Wall Street Journal says Gen Xers will change the health care system. This Gen Xer would rather sit here and listen to Moby CDs while complaining that she's hungry.

The recession is creating problems for the Baby Boomers, too.

Boxing it up: A TSA worker is arrested for beating a co-worker who made comments about the size of his, uh, package.

Hat trick: People are upset that the t-shirts, hats and bags the U.S. Census handed out to promote census participation were actually made in China.

Off the rails: Thousands of rail, port and pipeline workers went on strike in South Africa today over pay. There's no end in sight and the World Cup comes to South Africa next month. Thousands of drunk soccer fans and no train service. Uh, oh...

Down the tubes: An unemployed man steals toothpaste from a CVS store and a CVS employee allegedly chases him down and strangles him to death. Police label it an accident, CVS calls it an "unfortunate incident," the employee will not be charged and the dead man's family will sue.

Biting back: Employers in Malaysia are chafing under a government mandate that allows women to breastfeed at work.

Losing their zeal: 70% of working New Zealanders are burned out and looking for a new job.

Betting the farm: A new Ohio State University compensation study of 171 Ohio farm operators finds only 15% of farm workers have a retirement plan and 34% have health insurance.

Living it up: First she kills it on SNL, then 88-and-a-half-year-old Betty White hits the after-show party until 3 a.m.

Have you ever wondered why: Andy Rooney wonders who the hell Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber are. This Twitpic could help him with the Lady Gaga part. He's on his own with Justin Bieber, though.

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