Sprint is closing Overland Park call center, cutting about 200 jobs

Call centers in Sacramento, Calif., and Elmsford, N.Y., also are closing. A television station in Florida reported a fourth call center in Orlando, Fla., will lay off about 400 people. And in Fort Worth, Texas, according to the newspaper there, 450 jobs are being cut at that city’s call center. Overall, the paper reported, Sprint is cutting 1,550 customer service jobs, citing greater efficiencies.

Owner of Missouri Gas Energy considers job cuts

The new owner of Missouri Gas Energy is integrating some of the utility’s operations with its St. Louis utility, and some Kansas City jobs are on the line. The Laclede Group, which owns the Laclede Gas utility in St. Louis, purchased Missouri Gas Energy last year and indicated then that it planned to combine some operations of the two companies.

More employers bet that NCAA basketball tournament pools aren’t bad

The days of hiding March Madness betting pools from the boss soon may be as obsolete as the two-handed set shot. As this year’s NCAA basketball tournament approaches, fewer employers report they have rules prohibiting or limiting such workplace wagering. In fact, most personnel poobahs say they have decided that participating in a sports betting pool is not only OK by policy, it’s good for morale.

Job hunter conference will be March 12 in Lenexa

The event from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. March 12 at Holy Trinity Catholic Church will offer presentations on how to deal with assessments in the hiring process, how to connect with executives and get interviews, how to write a resume that gets results and how to impress in interviews.

Labor-Management Council sets legislative agenda for 2014

Directors of the Labor-Management Council of Greater Kansas City said at least three-fourths of its 80 company, union, government and nonprofit members agree on these issues this year. Protecting economic incentives ranks high among priority issues for the nonprofit labor-management organization.

Survey reveals creative excuses for employee tardiness

My cat got stuck in the toilet. My hairbrush got stuck in my hair. Traffic got stuck when a zebra ran down the highway. These and other excuses stuck in employers’ minds among the most unusual reasons why employees said they were late to work.

CBO: $10 minimum wage would cut poverty but also jobs

Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour could lift 900,000 Americans out of poverty but also cost a half million jobs, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday in a report that’s sure to feed a simmering debate over how to help loft people up the economic ladder.

Job fair is March 5 in Lee's Summit

Metropolitan Community College-Longview and the Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce will sponsor a job fair March 5 at the school’s recreation center, 500 S.W. Longview Road, Lee’s Summit. The event, from 2 to 6 p.m., is open to the public.

UAW vote at Volkswagen confronts South’s union aversion

For decades, the South has been able to capitalize on its lower wages and lack of labor unions to lure companies and jobs. The UAW vote, which would make the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., the first foreign-owned car factory in the U.S. with a labor union, threatens to change that, and both sides are working hard to steer the outcome their way.

Home Depot will hire 600 in Kansas City area

The seasonal push to add staff has begun at Home Depot. The home improvement and garden center said it intends to add 600 employees in the Kansas City area and 80,000 nationwide. The company urged students, retirees, veterans and reservists to apply.

Toyota may pay $1 billion to settle federal criminal investigation

The automaker is reportedly close to paying a $1 billion fine to settle a four-year federal criminal investigation into whether it properly reported safety complaints to regulators. Meanwhile, Toyota’s lawyers are in settlement talks over hundreds of civil lawsuits alleging wrongful deaths or injuries, potentially adding hundreds of millions to the tab.

Revelations by AOL boss raise fears over privacy

Tim Armstrong, the chief executive of AOL, apologized last weekend for publicly revealing sensitive health care details about two employees to explain why the online media giant had decided to cut benefits. He even reinstated the benefits after a backlash. But patient and workforce experts say the gaffe could have a lasting effect on how comfortable — or discomfited — Americans feel about bosses data-mining their personal lives.