Business news

For the black magnetic stripes on the backs of your credit and debit cards, Thursday will mark the beginning of the end — a shift that could be costly for retailers.

Since the beginning of credit cards, merchants were never liable if a thief used a stolen or counterfeit credit card to shop; the bank issuing the card usually made both the customer and the store whole.

Workers at a truck seat plant in Alabama could vote on Wednesday to bring union membership to a part of the U.S. where it's had an especially tough history.

Some employees at the CVG manufacturing plant in rural Piedmont, Ala., want to join the United Auto Workers over a number of issues, including higher wages and the heat inside the 40-year-old facility.

As a girl, Julie Luettgen hid in her room to escape her mother's Estee Lauder perfume. As an adult, she finds scents inescapable.

"Everywhere I go — theaters, I've been at restaurants — and it's like, 'Oh my God, do you smell that?' It's terrible," she says.

Luettgen, a Realtor in Milwaukee, says her nose keeps tabs on co-workers as they come and go. "I can tell who's been in there just by the smell," she says.

Updated 7:30 p.m. ET

"I personally am deeply sorry that we have broken the trust of our customers and the public," says Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn, days after the EPA said the German carmaker had purposefully rigged its diesel cars to pass emissions tests.

The CEO's sentiments did not stop investors from punishing VW's stock Monday in Europe, when they hacked away nearly a quarter of the company's market value.

The Labor Department is considering changing rules that define who qualifies for overtime pay and who does not, and businesses say it would have far-reaching consequences that may not be good for workers.

Currently, the rules say you have to make less than $23,660 a year to be automatically eligible for overtime, but the Labor Department's proposal would more than double that required salary level to $50,440. That would mean an estimated 6 million more people would be eligible for overtime pay.

Many workers' prospects have improved as the unemployment rate has slipped down to 5.1 percent. But not all are seeing better days in the economic recovery. Recent studies show most jobs are going to workers either in the top third or the bottom third of income.

A study by Georgetown University found that middle-wage jobs haven't fully recovered from the Great Recession. They represent nearly a third of the jobs gained in the recovery but are still 900,000 jobs short of pre-recession levels, the study said.

America needs more welders — and soon. Baby boomers with the skill are retiring and not enough young people are replacing them.

In the '80s, when Flashdance brought us Alex the welding woman who really wanted to be a ballet dancer, America had well over half a million welders. Welding was hot. Today, there are about 40 percent fewer welders.

In April, Chipotle Mexican Grill made a big splash when it launched a campaign called G-M-Over It.

"When it comes to our food, genetically modified ingredients don't make the cut," the chain said.

And customers seemed to eat up the message.

But a new class-action lawsuit against the Mexican chain alleges that the campaign's marketing claims don't hold up.

Google Logo Gets A Reboot

Sep 2, 2015

With a wave of the hand, or a Google Doodle version of that gesture, the tech company has unveiled its first logo update since 2013. The new font, a sans serif typeface made in-house and called Product Sans, has a cleaner look but retains the familiar primary colors of the previous design. According to Google's blog, by making this change, "We think we've taken the best of Google (simple, uncluttered, colorful, friendly), and recast it not just for the Google of today, but for the Google of the future."

This has been a banner year for employees seeking greater paid parental leave.

The price of oil has dropped to its lowest point in years in recent weeks. That's bad news for almost everyone in oil-producing parts of the country.

But there is at least one business that's booming in the oil patch.

Walk around Ryan Peck's impound lot on the south side of Corpus Christi, Texas, and it's easy to see he's busy.

The Indian government is seeking $99 million in damages from Swiss food and beverage giant Nestle over a recent food scare involving the Maggi brand of instant noodles that are a household staple in India.

The class action, filed late Tuesday before India's National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, accuses Nestle of "gross negligence, apathy and callousness."

When China suddenly cut the value of its currency Tuesday, investors everywhere were caught off guard.

And they didn't like it. They sent both stock and commodity prices much lower. Even interest rates fell.

Now maybe you are wondering: Huh? What does this China move mean for me?

Before we get to that, let's first run through what happened on the other side of the world:

A new federal rule will require public companies to list their chief executives' total annual compensation as a ratio to their workers' median pay, after the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted the rule Wednesday.

Today's vote comes five years after Congress approved the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which includes the pay ratio rule. The vote also comes nearly two years after the SEC formally proposed the requirement.

If you're looking for a way to gauge the health of the U.S. economy this summer, consider regional amusement parks — parks that you can drive to within a few hours. Some 260 million people spend about $10 billion annually at regional theme parks, and this year is shaping up to be a record-breaker.

To understand what's driving those numbers, there are few better people to spend a day at a park with than Martin Lewison.

"As of today, I've been on 1,306 different roller coasters," Lewison says.

It's earnings season on Wall Street, and investors are again looking to quarterly reports to gauge the health of companies. Some environmentalists are looking to so-called "sustainability reports" — how companies are improving their ecological footprints. But not all environmentalists are putting so much stock in these reports.

Andrew Hoffman, at the University of Michigan, breaks environmentalists into two colors, or rather shades of a color. First, the perspective of the "dark greens":

For pharmacists in ever-diverse Berlin, communicating with customers requires a variety of languages.

Just ask German pharmacist Julia al-Erian, who tries in English to engage a young Arab man who is trying to buy acne cream. He gives her a blank stare, so she tries explaining in German how the medicated lotion works.

He looks perplexed, says "hold on" in German, then turns to a friend and speaks Arabic.

Most local economic development schemes focus on creating jobs. Many offer incentives to startup companies, or try to lure existing companies to relocate.

But a campaign in Montana is turning that on its head. It's not trying to recruit companies but rather employees to come to the sparsely populated state and telecommute.

David Blackburn works for a financial services firm in Jersey City, N.J. He and his wife both have six-figure incomes, but real estate in the New York City area is so expensive that they have to live kind of far from their jobs.

Nick Lapatas spent 18 years living in Chicago. Then he returned home to Greece and bought a small farm. Today he and his son sell tomatoes in an open-air market in Athens. Despite the depressed economy and cheaper imports from Bulgaria and Albania, he's doing OK.

"I don't know how, but we are making some money," he says. "Now, what is going to happen a month from now, I don't know."

Federal regulators are fining Fiat Chrysler $105 million for failing to acknowledge and address safety defects in a timely fashion.

The civil penalty — the largest ever imposed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration — will be accompanied by three years of "unprecedented" federal oversight, the agency says. Fiat Chrysler has also agreed to buy back some vehicles from their owners.