On Air Now

Listen Now

Weather

clear-day
73°
Clear
H 90° L 68°
  • clear-day
    73°
    Current Conditions
    Clear. H 90° L 68°
  • clear-day
    90°
    Today
    Clear. H 90° L 68°
  • clear-day
    90°
    Tomorrow
    Mostly Clear. H 90° L 64°
Listen
Pause
Error

Wsb news on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

Listen
Pause
Error

Wsb traffic on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

Listen
Pause
Error

Wsb weather on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

Local
Michael Cohen’s paying a price. So is your boss.
Close

Michael Cohen’s paying a price. So is your boss.

Michael Cohen’s paying a price. So is your boss.
Photo Credit: Wavebreakmedia/Getty Images/iStockphoto
Business colleagues discussing by water cooler at office

Michael Cohen’s paying a price. So is your boss.

Former attorney Michael Cohen testified Tuesday about Donald Trump's involvement in a $130,000 hush money payout to an adult film actress. But that money is only a fraction of how much the testimony is costing American employers.

Andy Challenger, vice president at executive outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, says the enormously-anticipated testimony before the U.S. House Oversight Committee is being watched and discussed around the country--including by folks at work. Live-streaming of the testimony can add up to big distractions, he says.

Challenger, Gray & Christmas
Andy Challenger, Vice President of global outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas
Close

Michael Cohen’s paying a price. So is your boss.

Photo Credit: Challenger, Gray & Christmas
Andy Challenger, Vice President of global outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas

"We're estimating roughly 69.5 million Americans are going to lose some sort of productivity during the day," says Challenger. "If each one of those Americans spent just 15 minutes watching the live coverage, discussing it with coworkers, reading analysis about it, it would cost employers about $500 million."

Last month, the average hourly wage in the U.S. was $27.56. Multiply that by the 69.5 million workers estimated to be at work, with Internet access, and interested in politics--and it's a big figure.

"If that group of people spent just one hour devoted to the news of the day, it could cost employers over $1.9 billion in lost productivity," Challenger tells WSB. 

That's $1,915,420,000 per hour, to be exact.

A 2016 poll by the company finds that 94% of employees talk about politics on the job.

Cohen, Trump's former lawyer, testified that Trump is a racist, cheat, and con man who acted like a mob boss. He says his loyalty to Trump has cost him his job, his family and his freedom. He has been sentenced to three years in prison for campaign finance violations, tax evasion and lying to Congress, but says he is no longer protecting the president.

Challenger says the firm noted a similar outcome with the hearings of Supreme Court nominees over the last couple of years. But it pales in comparison to March Madness, which is just around the corner.

"It's become this phenomenon in the American workplace, where employers are putting together pools for their employees to participate in, they're streaming the games in the break room, and many are watching on their computers and slowing down Internet productivity for the entire office," says Challenger. "So events like that really dwarf this couple of hours of testimony we're seeing today." 

In 2018, Challenger, Gray said that the tournament would cost employers $2.3 billion per hour. The 2019 estimate is not yet out.

Challenger said there's not much employers can do to get around the bottom-line impact of the Cohen testimony, or future hearings people want to watch.

"Certainly, any attempts to ban your employees from accessing the news during the day might be counterproductive, and decrease morale more than the news itself. Companies could plan large group meetings during the middle of some of these testimonies to get people together. When you're all in the same room, it's more difficult to tune in to the news or stream those live streams," he says.

Read More

News

  • They take their football seriously in Philadelphia. Even scholarly types can go overboard when their beloved Eagles lose. >> Read more trending news  During the fourth quarter of Philadelphia's 27-24 televised loss to the Detroit Lions, the Fox network handling the broadcast showed an angry Eagles fan shouting as the telecast broke for a commercial. The angry fan was identified as Eric Furda, the University of Pennsylvania's dean of admissions since 2008, according to the The Philadelphia Inquirer. The clip quickly went viral, as it resonated with other angry Eagles fans. Furda admitted he was the culprit on Twitter, but only after he posted Sunday that he was 'not sure what the refs were looking at today.' Furda took a more apologetic tone Monday morning. 'After further review of the play I will take the 15 yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct,' Furda tweeted. 'But I will not lose my passion for Philadelphia and Penn sports!' The Eagles, who have lost two straight games after beating Washington in their season opener, travel to Green Bay to face the Packers at Lambeau Field on Thursday night.
  • A Michigan toddler died last week after authorities said her head became stuck in a car's power window in Detroit. >> Read more trending news  According to WXYZ-TV, Kierre Allen, 2, was inside the parked 2005 Mazda 3 with her father, who had fallen asleep, last Monday when the window somehow closed on her head, authorities said. The 21-year-old man awoke to find the child caught in the window, he told police. Kierre's uncle took the pair to a nearby hospital as the father tried to revive the girl, WJBK-TV reported. Doctors said she was dead when she arrived. Police arrested the girl's father, who had outstanding traffic warrants, authorities said. He has not been charged in connection with Kierre's death, the Detroit News reported.
  • A Cobb County school nurse was arrested Thursday after administrators noticed students’ medications were missing. Lindsey Waggoner, 38, is accused of stealing more than $1,500 of medication from Barber Middle School in Acworth, according to an arrest warrant obtained Monday by AJC.com. Cobb County school police allegedly found her in possession of 209 pills, including Adderall, generic forms of Ritalin and Focalin, and Evekeo. The drugs are commonly used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, known as ADHD. Principal Tia Amlett sent a letter home to parents alerting them to the investigation and arrest of a staff member, although the employee was not named.  “We have made contact with families who were directly affected by this situation and will continue to pursue policies that ensure such behavior does not go unnoticed,” she said. It was not immediately clear if Waggoner was fired following her arrest. As of Monday morning, she was still listed on Barber’s website. Amlett said she was being dealt with “according to district policy and state laws.” Waggoner, who is from Kennesaw, is facing a single felony charge of theft by taking. She was booked into the county jail Thursday afternoon and released a few hours later on a $15,000 bond.  In other news: 
  • The 178-year-old tour company Thomas Cook has shut down, potentially stranding hundreds of thousands of travelers who booked their trips with the company stranded across the globe. Thomas Cook was known for the package tour industry, The Associated Press reported. It had four airlines and 21,000 employees in 16 countries. All of the employees have been laid off and will lose their jobs. The ripple effect of Thomas Cook's collapse is expected to be felt across all of Europe and North Africa, the AP reported.  Officials at hotels are now worried about confirmed bookings that had been made for winter. About 600,000 people had been scheduled to travel with Thomas Cook through Sunday. Some subsidiaries were trying to get local connections to get people home, the AP reported.  The British government has stepped in to get 150,000 U.K. customers back to their homes starting Monday. The government has hired charter planes to get people home free of charge, and officials expect the process to fly everyone back to the U.K. will take about two weeks, the AP reported. >> Read more trending news  There are 50,000 people stranded in Greece, up to 30,000 in Spain's Canary Islands, 21,000 in Turkey and 15,000 in Cyprus all trying to find a way home, the AP reported. Thomas Cook officials blame competition from budget airlines and travelers booking their trips themselves though the internet as to why the company struggled financially and eventually shut down, the AP reported. The uncertainty also was brought on by Brexit and the drop in the pound that made it more expensive for British travelers to afford trips abroad, the AP reported. Despite the fact they no longer are being paid for their work, some Thomas Cook employees are still reporting for their shifts to help make sure those who are stranded can return home, Metro reported. One now-former employee said on Twitter that she will be at her post to help stranded customers. Employees at a different Thomas Cook location also posted a sign on their location saying they would open Monday morning to help customers, Metro reported. 
  • A second-year Georgia Tech student was confirmed dead Sunday after a swimming accident in the Chattahoochee River. James Strock was last seen Saturday afternoon swimming in the area of the West Palisades Trail at Paces Mill Park, according to school officials. Teams searched through dusk before turning to recovery efforts Sunday morning, dean of students John M. Stein said in a letter to the Georgia Tech community. A Georgia Tech spokeswoman confirmed Strock’s death Sunday evening. It is unknown if his body was recovered from the river. Strock was pursuing an undergraduate degree in computer engineering and was interested in robotics and quantum computing, according to his LinkedIn page. He was set to graduate in 2022. According to Tech officials, Strock was from Uganda and moved to the United States at age 16. He was an active member of the campus community, attended a campus ministry and could often be found in the recreational center. Strock completed a co-op program with DataPath, a communications and computer software company, in Lawrenceville over the summer. “On behalf of Georgia Tech, we offer our deepest condolences to James’ family and friends during this difficult time,” Stein said in the letter to students, faculty and staff, which was shared on Reddit. “I have been in constant contact with his family and will continue to be there to support them.” Grief counseling is available on campus from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through the week at the campus Counseling Center and in the student services building. Students may also call 404-894-2575 for support after hours. — Please return to AJC.com for updates. In other news: 
  • A federal judge will hear the arguments Monday for the first time from opponents of Georgia’s new anti-abortion law as they ask him to stop the measure from going into effect. Gov. Brian Kemp in May signed one of the nation’s strictest abortion laws, outlawing the procedure in most cases once a doctor can detect fetal cardiac activity. It is scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1. The American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia has asked U.S. District Judge Steve C. Jones to stop the law from going into effect while the case makes its way through the court system. The ACLU argued in a June complaint that the law violates a woman’s constitutional right of access to abortion until about 24 weeks of pregnancy, as established in the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade. The ACLU has argued that “politicians should not be second-guessing women’s health care decisions.” In its response, the state said Georgia’s new anti-abortion law is “constitutional and justified” and asked Jones to dismiss the lawsuit challenging the measure. “Defendants deny all allegations in the complaint that killing a living unborn child constitutes ‘medical care’ or ‘health care,’” attorneys wrote. The state hired Virginia-based attorney to represent Gov. Brian Kemp, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, Department of Public Health Commissioner Kathleen Toomey, members of the Georgia Composite Medical Board and its executive director. ACLU is representing SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, Feminist Women’s Health Center, Planned Parenthood Southeast and other abortion rights advocates and providers.