‘Making Loan Modification Affordable’ Program Aims to Make Loan Mitigation More Accessible
August 20, 2009-Amid the buzz about Obama’s “Making Home Affordable” plan intended to help millions of Americans “reduce their monthly mortgage payments to more affordable levels,” one San Diego-based law firm has launched its own synergistic “Making Loan Modification Affordable” plan to help financially-strapped homeowners at risk of foreclosure garner professional, attorney-based loan mitigation assistance at a price within their means, the company reports.
Rebuffing a short-sighted, one-size-fits-all approach, The Lawyer in Blue Jeans Group announced the advent of four loan modification service options starting at just $500 intended, in line with Obama’s goal, to help struggling homeowners establish affordable monthly mortgage payments and ultimately retain ownership of their property.
The four loan modification program options now offered by The Lawyer in Blue Jeans Group include (pricing levels vary):
Option 1: Do-it-Yourself Workshop
Attorney-led group workshop advising homeowners on how to package and present loan modification paperwork on their own, and also how to best communicate with lenders in working toward a prospective loan modification.
Option 2: Do-it-Yourself Workshop with Support
All services detailed in option 1, above, plus one-on-one, in-personal consultation with an attorney and as-needed telephone support.
Option 3: Attorney-Packaged Do-it-Yourself
All services detailed in option 2, above, with the addition of an attorney-prepared loan modification document package for submission by the client to the lender.
Option 4: Full Service Attorney-Based
Full attorney-based loan modification representation, including document preparation and submission and high-level lender negotiations, which is customized based on each clients’ needs. Services run the gamut, from pro-actively working out methods to delay or avoid foreclosures without filing bankruptcy to expertly restructuring loan terms to best fit a clients’ circumstance.
“Although attorney-based loan modifications are extremely effective, since lenders tend to be much more responsive and cooperative when a borrower has legal representation or has been advised and educated by a legal expert, the price for such services is often out of reach for homeowners who are already struggling financially,” notes Jeff Isaac, principal attorney at The Lawyer in Blue Jeans Group. “By offering various loan modification service programs with a low starting price point, we hope to help a great number of homeowners with their loan mitigation efforts one way or another – whether in an education, consultative or full service capacity.”
“Our various low cost, attorney-supported do-it-yourself programs can greatly help those who would otherwise ‘go it alone,’ often with marginal success,” continues Isaac. “Or, our full service program – also priced below industry standard – maximizes a homeowners’ chance of a positive outcome since attorneys not only understand the legal intricacies, technicalities and seemingly infinite regulations related to loan modifications, but also have the specialized skill and expertise required to negotiate the best possible terms for the client.”
Isaac concludes with this cautionary note:, “Many companies offering loan modifications claiming to be ‘attorney backed’ or ‘attorney based’ are not law firms, but rather may merely have an attorney available for consultation as – and if – it subjectively deems necessary. In this instance, the company need not adhere to the same ethical standards required of licensed attorneys, which can be cause for concern. Moreover, there is no attorney client privilege for any thing discussed with this kind of company, rendering any and all information imparted ‘discoverable’ should a state agency be considering a prosecution for alleged mortgage fraud, in which case the services of a licensed attorney is critical. ”
For more information, visit www.LawyerInBlueJeans.com.
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Originally posted 2009-08-19 22:46:17.
Medical Malpractice Authority and Adjunct Law Professor Dawn Effron Joins Zeytoonian Center for Dispute Resolution
Boston – Wellesley Hills and Westborough, Mass.
Dawn Effron, former medical malpractice litigation attorney and presently an adjunct professor at New England Law Boston (formerly New England School of Law), has joined the Zeytoonian Center for Dispute Resolution as Of Counsel. The Zeytoonian Center for Dispute Resolution is a new center that offers its clients cost-effective and time-efficient alternatives to settling disputes in court. These approaches also minimize the drain on its clients’ resources and damage to their relationships and organizations.
Effron joins the Zeytoonian Center with experience serving as an attorney at New York’s premier medical malpractice firm, now known as Kramer, Dillof, Livingston & Moore; the New York State Department of Health’s Bureau for Professional Medical Conduct; and the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine. She has negotiated multi-million dollar settlements and successfully tried more than thirty cases involving allegations of substandard medical care, fraud and patient abuse. Among the cases Effron handled at the Massachusetts Board of Medicine were highly-publicized 1994 chemotherapy overdoses and the removal of the wrong kidney from a patient, both at major Boston-area hospitals. She will draw upon this experience to work with the Center’s clients in the area of healthcare and employment.
Ten years ago, Effron expanded her practice to include alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and developed a mediation program for the Board of Registration in Medicine. Since then, she has been retained by institutions, including the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine, health care practices and courts to mediate legal disputes involving health care and employment issues. She has also been retained by institutions including the Harvard School of Public Health, New York University, Viacom, and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill to provide individualized coaching and create customized programs that teach core negotiation and conflict resolution skills.
“Patients and their families are distraught when they experience an adverse medical outcome,” said Effron. “They want to understand what happened, know that they will be protected financially, and receive an apology with assurances that similar errors will not befall others in the future. In the traditional legal system, physicians are advised to disclose nothing and deny blame. As a result, patients resort to legal action and physicians and institutions lose patients because trust is destroyed. Through mediation and collaborative law patients get results that satisfy their core interests while physicians and hospitals reduce costs, improve patient safety and restore trust.”
Since 2004, Effron has been a member of the adjunct faculty at New England Law Boston, teaching negotiation and a mediation clinic. She serves as Co-Chair of the Boston Bar Association – Boston Municipal Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Task Force, which operates a mediation and pre-trial conferencing program in Boston Municipal Court.
“As a mediator and collaborative attorney, Dawn creates a safe, open environment where all can talk candidly about what matters to them to help resolve a dispute,” said Center founder and director Michael Zeytoonian. “Whether a patient, family member, physician or hospital, each party can articulate their true interests, both monetary and non-monetary, and together find ways to satisfy all of the interests involved. Dawn’s deep experience and skill in facilitating difficult conversations in a wide variety of healthcare situations, including those that take place in the aftermath of an unfortunate medical outcome, will be a great benefit to our clients when it comes to resolving healthcare-related disputes.”
Ms. Effron received her BA from the University of Pennsylvania and her JD from Benjamin Cardozo School of Law. She is a member of the Massachusetts and New York Bar.
About the Zeytoonian Center for Dispute Resolution, LLC
The Zeytoonian Center for Dispute Resolution provides legal and dispute resolution services that are preventive, proactive, efficient and collaborative. Our early intervention services work proactively to help clients anticipate problems that arise in organizations and put policies, procedures and training programs in place to engage, manage and diffuse problems and prevent them from escalating into disputes or claims. Utilizing the talents of lawyers, mediators, expert consultants and coaches, our dispute resolution services are designed to efficiently offer the kind of advocacy that protects clients’ rights, educates them on the best approach to their dispute, and helps them achieve a resolution that satisfies their interests. The Center has offices in Wellesley Hills and Westborough, Mass.
For more information, please visit http://www.zeytooniancenter.com or contact the Zeytoonian Center at (781) 489-2270.
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Originally posted 2009-08-24 22:15:07.
Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers Opens New Office in Hartford
One of fastest-growing personal injury law firms in Connecticut now serving clients from spacious new office in historically registered building on Congress Street
We’re very excited about the opening of our third office in Connecticut because it will strengthen our ability to serve the needs of clients in the Hartford area
We’ve chosen to limit our practice to personal injury law, which means that, unlike most other law firms, the entire Perkins firm is organized to take special care of clients who have been injured due to the negligence and wrongful acts of others.
Our dedicated case management team is comprised of 25 full-time employees throughout the firm who monitor each case file daily and reach out to each client every two weeks with updates
Hartford, Conn. August 19, 2009 — Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers, a fast-growing law firm that exclusively represents individuals who have suffered injuries, has opened a third office location in downtown Hartford.
The new office is located at One Congress Street, Fourth Floor, across the street from the Hartford Hospital. Perkins’ firm occupies the entire top floor of the four-story building, which is registered as a historic building in the State of Connecticut.
“We’re very excited about the opening of our third office in Connecticut because it will strengthen our ability to serve the needs of clients in the Hartford area,” said Jonathan Perkins, the founding partner. “We’ve chosen to limit our practice to personal injury law, which means that, unlike most other law firms, the entire Perkins firm is organized to take special care of clients who have been injured due to the negligence and wrongful acts of others.”
According to Perkins, Paul Clyons, an attorney with more than 30 years of experience as a litigator, including extensive work representing individuals with both personal injury and workers’ compensation claims, is to be based full-time in the new Hartford office. The office is also staffed by a team leader and four full-time case managers.
“Our dedicated case management team is comprised of 25 full-time employees throughout the firm who monitor each case file daily and reach out to each client every two weeks with updates,” explained Perkins.
Founded in 2005 and based in the New Haven, Conn. area, the Perkins law firm is among the fastest-growing personal injury firms in the state of Connecticut. The firm also maintains an office in the Bridgeport, Conn. area.
Although all types of injured clients may be helped, Perkins lawyers mainly focus on cases involving auto accidents, defective products, dog bites, lead poisoning, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse, premises liability, slip and fall, and wrongful death. For more information about Jonathan Perkins Personal Injury Lawyers, please go to www.800perkins.com or call 203.397.1283.
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Originally posted 2009-08-19 22:07:28.
Lawsuit Seeks $100 Million in Back Overtime Pay and Damages for UPS Account Managers
SAN DIEGO, Aug. 19 — United Parcel Service, the world’s largest package delivery service, has been withholding as much as $100 million in overtime wages from the account managers whom the company employs throughout the country. That’s the accusation at the heart of a class action lawsuit filed today with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in San Diego by the law firm of Sanford Wittels & Heisler, LLP.
UPS has revenues approaching $50 billion a year and employs 345,000 workers in the United States. Account managers are ground troops in the multi-billion dollar corporation, going door-to-door to businesses throughout the country to promote UPS’ portfolio of delivery services. UPS requires these employees to work up to sixty hours a week but claims that these workers do not deserve to get overtime pay.
Laura Meza, a UPS account manager in Fullerton, California, brought the action, which alleges violations of the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act and California’s wage and hour laws. Ms. Meza aims to represent thousands of similarly underpaid UPS account managers throughout the United States. Representing Ms. Meza are David Sanford in the Washington, D.C. office of Sanford Wittels & Heisler; Steven L. Wittels, Jeremy Heisler, and Janette Wipper in the firm’s New York office, and Edward D. Chapin and Jill Sullivan, Of Counsel to the firm in San Diego.
“When it comes to treating its workers fairly,” said plaintiff’s attorney Jeremy Heisler, “UPS just doesn’t deliver.”
“I work up to 60 hours every week,” Ms. Meza described. “My day starts at 6 a.m., when I have to go to the office to get my daily manifest lists and respond to calls and emails from customers and supervisors. From 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., I’m out in the field pitching UPS products to customers. When I finally come home, I have to keep responding to work emails. And even on weekends, vacations and sick days, I’m routinely expected to do paperwork, calls and emails for work. That’s the grinding routine that UPS requires of all of us account managers.”
The complaint against UPS charges that the colossus mail carrier fails to pay its account managers overtime wages for work in excess of 40 hours a week and eight hours a day; fails to provide these workers with mandatory meal periods and rest breaks; and fails to keep accurate records of the hours these employees work.
Ms. Meza’s attorneys at Sanford Wittels & Heisler estimate the Company’s liability at $100 million. The class action suit demands that UPS immediately stop its unlawful pay practices and pay Ms. Meza and the account managers she represents unpaid wages due to them plus all damages permitted by California and federal wage and hour laws.
“Because overtime laws help motivate companies to hire more workers to get the job done, they’re the kind of economic stimulus that we can’t overestimate in today’s dire economic climate,” asserted Plaintiff’s attorney Janette Wipper.
Plaintiff’s co-counsel David Sanford and Steven Wittels delivered two timely messages to UPS. “Overtime pay” – stressed Mr. Sanford – “is a right, not a privilege. UPS account managers are forced to work grueling hours. The law dictates that UPS must pay overtime rates to these overworked employees.” Attorney Wittels added: “It’s not enough for UPS to deliver packages to its customers. The company must also deliver overtime checks to its hard-working employees, upon whose sweat and labor UPS’ success depends.”
Sanford Wittels & Heisler is a renowned class action law firm with offices in Washington, D.C., New York, and San Francisco that specializes in employment discrimination, wage and hour, consumer and complex corporate class action litigation and has represented thousands of individuals in major class action cases in the United States. The firm also represents individual clients in employment, employment discrimination, sexual harassment, whistleblower, public accommodations, commercial, medical malpractice, and personal injury matters. Individuals with these claims are encouraged to contact Sanford Wittels & Heisler at (202) 742-7448 or (646) 723-2947; firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
About Sanford Wittels & Heisler LLP
Sanford Wittels & Heisler is a renowned class action law firm with offices in Washington, D.C., New York, and San Francisco that specializes in employment discrimination, wage and hour, consumer and complex corporate class action litigation and has represented thousands of individuals in major class action cases in the United States. The firm also represents individual clients in employment, employment discrimination, sexual harassment, whistleblower, public accommodations, commercial, medical malpractice, and personal injury matters.
SOURCE Sanford Wittels & Heisler LLP
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Originally posted 2009-08-19 21:24:42.
Upcoming Child Custody Battle over Michael Jackson’s Children Provides Insight into Delicate Issues of Family Law
When Michael Jackson unexpectedly passed away last week, the world was stunned by the death of the fifty-year-old entertainer who left an indelible mark on pop culture. He was preparing for a world tour that was advertised as his fans’ last opportunity to see the King of Pop perform on stage. Whether motivated by a desire to sing again or by undeniable financial problems, the tour that would have brought hundreds of thousands into arenas will never happen. Along with his amazing legacy of music and a sorted legal history, Michael Jackson also leaves behind an endless number of questions surrounding his unusual personality and life. What exactly was the cause of his death? An official pronouncement from the coroner has been postponed pending toxicology reports, but rumors are rampant concerning his addiction to prescription drugs and the courts want the opportunity to speak with his various doctors. Will we now learn more about the plastic surgeries and other alterations he chose to endure? Finally, there is a question that likely will be answered in a California courtroom over the weeks and months to come. What is to become of Michael Jackson’s children? In the middle of all of the chaos and media frenzy, I hope we all remember these three innocent participants in the family drama.
Michael Jackson leaves behind three children whose new home is yet to be determined—Prince Michael, age twelve, Paris Katherine, age eleven, and Prince Michael II (also known as Blanket), age seven. The first two kids are the product of his marriage with the former nurse for Mr. Jackson’s dermatologist, Debbie Rowe, which lasted from 1996 to 1999. Ms. Rowe originally gave up all custodial rights when the two terminated their marriage, but successfully appealed to have parental rights restored following Jackson’s arrest in 2003 on child molestation charges. The youngest boy was born to a surrogate mother who has never been identified. In fact, official documentation lists “None” in the space indicated for the birth mother. So, the California courts are left with two birth mothers who have had little or no contact with their children. What are the possible options at this point?
California law considers several issues when determining child custody cases, using the guiding factor of the “best interest of the minor child” as the overriding influence in such decisions. First, the courts examine the best environment for a child’s safety, health, and welfare. They also check for a history of physical abuse or violent crimes committed by any of the parties seeking to share in the custody. The stability and continuity of an environment is critical in the eyes of the court. Children need to have established bonds and patterns with the person who is deemed to be the primary caretaker. Unless there are circumstances that require otherwise, such as specific health or educational needs, all efforts will be made to keep siblings living together. Finally, the court must give “due weight” to the wishes of the children in this difficult situation, assuming that their ages and reasoning ability allow them to express such a preference.
Earlier this week, Michael Jackson’s mother, Katherine Jackson, was granted temporary guardianship of all three children. In a will written by Michael Jackson in 2002 and released the day after Mrs. Jackson received temporary custody, the courts revealed that this placement was in accordance with Jackson’s last wishes. However, Mr. Jackson does not necessarily have the final say in where his children will live until they reach adulthood. The well-known celebrity attorney Gloria Allred said about the situation, “”If he did indicate a preference, that will be given great weight, but that will not be determinative. Children are not property, they cannot be willed to another person.” So far, however, Katherine Jackson is the only possible guardian who has expressed an outright and definitive interest in caring for the children. She has a long-standing relationship with all three of the kids and is surrounded by other grandchildren of the Jackson family. This environment could prove the most stable and loving for Prince, Paris, and Prince Michael II. Charlotte Goldberg, a family law professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, said that in all child custody cases, “It’s really a balance between continuity and stability and a biological relationship.”
Where does the current state of affairs leave Debbie Rowe? Experts believe that she has the strongest legal claim to the two oldest children, if she should choose to assert her parental rights. As this article is being written, Ms. Rowe has just requested and won a delay in the upcoming custody hearing as she decides whether or not she wants to pursue her rights to raise her two children. This legal move today was the first communication that Ms. Rowe has offered since the death of Michael Jackson a week ago. If she does decide to move herself to the front of the custody line, which would likely be her legal prerogative, Ms. Rowe would need to undergo an evaluation by the court to determine if she is the best person to care for the children.
Whether a celebrity or someone who has never found herself on the cover of a tabloid magazine, the emotional issues involved with child custody situations are always difficult. Above all else, it should the desire of the courts and all parties involved to make the decision that is in the best interest of the children. Where will the children feel most secure and loved while working through a painful life transition? Who is surrounded by the best support network when extra assistance is needed with the children? Who can provide the most solid financial support? If you are seeking custody of precious children in your life whose circumstances are changing for reasons ranging from divorce to death, you should seek the assistance of a family law attorney who has the experience needed to be sensitive to the heightened emotions that are involved. If you also happen to be in the public eye, you will want to find legal representation that brings knowledge of how to navigate through the magnified issues of celebrity law. While it may be difficult to focus on these practical needs when you are caught up with tending to a family in pain, making these decisions early will make for an easier road ahead.
About The Author
Tony R. Bertolino is a managing partner of Bertolino LLP, a law firm with offices in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio. Bertolino LLP has experienced attorneys in the area of family law and child custody matters. To learn more about the services offered by Bertolino LLP, please visit the firm’s website at http://www.belolaw.com.
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Originally posted 2009-08-19 22:24:38.
The Road Can Be Unfriendly On A Motorcycle
Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009
Injury Law Los Angeles
Riding a motorcycle for most people is one of the things that can be a feeling of freedom, wind blowing and then there are the dangers that are associated with riding a motorcycle. The dangers can include things like motor vehicle drivers, road debris, defective aftermarket parts and poor designs.
The one thing that is certain is that a motorcycle accident can leave the rider severely injured, and this can include road burn, broken bones, head injuries, which can be a life changing injury. Being involved in a motorcycle accident means it could even cause death from the injuries, so any motorcycle accident is serious.
One thing that is certain, motorcycle riders have little to protect them from the road and injury, the rider and any passenger on the bike have their helmets and their protective clothing, if they are wearing any. Unlike a vehicle there is no seat belts, there are no airbags and there is no metal surrounding the riders, and this means being in an accident on a motorcycle the rider will be ejected.
When a motorcycle accident occurs and it is due to road debris or to another motorist in Garden Grove, the rider not only will need the help of a medical professional, they also need the advice and protection of an Orange County motorcycle accident attorney. This is a professional that is experienced in the law, motorcycle accidents and the injuries that can occur, and this attorney should not be just any personal injury attorney.
The attorney to represent an injured rider when the road is unfriendly on a motorcycle will need to be an experienced motorcycle accident attorney, because this is an attorney that understands that each motorcycle accident is different and that the accident might even need to be recreated.
The road can be unfriendly on a motorcycle even in Garden Grove, the injuries that can be sustained by a motorcycle rider can be ones that will put them out of work for an extended amount of time, or even permanently if the injuries are life changing. The accident can happen in seconds, leaving even an experienced rider no chance to avoid an accident, whether it is due to a negligent driver, road debris or a defective part that causes the rider to lose control of the bike or is struck by a vehicle.
After a motorcycle accident, medical care is most important and the next thing that the rider or their family should do is to seek the advice of an Orange County, Los Angeles, or San Francisco motorcycle accident attorney. This is a lawyer who can investigate the accident and aggressively fight for the best possible settlement for the Garden Grove injured motorcycle rider.
Contact Ehline Law | Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney PC: 633 West Fifth Street, 28th Floor, Los Angeles, CA, 90071; 6700 East Pacific Coast Highway, Suite 275, Long Beach, CA 90803; 14007 Palawan Way Marina del Rey, CA, 90292; 201 Wilshire Blvd, Second Floor, Santa Monica, CA, 90401; 620 Newport Center Drive, Suite 1100 Newport Beach, CA, 92660; 50 Francisco Street, Suite 460 San Francisco, CA 94133; 213.596.9642.
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Originally posted 2009-08-21 20:55:03.
Governor Pat Quinn Teams up with Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez to Defend Victims, Law Enforcement Officers and the Public
Released August 14, 2009
Governor Pat Quinn today joined with Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez to sign bills that will provide greater safety and security to the victims of crime, law enforcement officers and the general public. At a bill signing ceremony, Governor Quinn and State’s Attorney Alvarez also opened the South Side Community Justice Center.
“The protection of Illinois residents is among my very top priorities,” said Governor Quinn. “These new laws will help to preserve their safety and security.”
Governor Quinn signed House Bill 584, sponsored by Sen. Antonio Munoz (D-Chicago) and Rep. Jim Sacia (R-Pecatonica), which increases the criminal penalties for disarming a peace officer or correctional institution employee. The law will raise the crime’s classification from a Class 2 felony to a non-probationable Class 1 felony.
Another bill signed into law by Governor Quinn is House Bill 445, sponsored by Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago) and Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago). This legislation amends the Illinois Controlled Substances Act to add N-Benzylpiperazine – commonly referred to as BZP – to the list of dangerous Schedule 1 controlled substances. The bill establishes penalties for the unlawful manufacture, delivery or possession of this substance.
Governor Quinn also signed House Bill 693, which gives stalking victims another means of fighting back. The bill enables victims to pursue civil remedies, such as court orders of protection, to keep an offender away even if the victim has had a personal relationship with that offender. House Bill 693 was sponsored by Sen. Michael Noland (D-Elgin) and Rep. Fred Crespo (D-Hoffman Estates).
The three bills were written and developed by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.
“In addition to the day-to-day prosecution of violent crime, we are constantly working to identify methods to increase protections for victims and to expand the ability of our office to charge specific types of crimes as we observe criminal patterns developing,” said State’s Attorney Alvarez.
Also at the signing ceremony, State’s Attorney Alvarez announced the opening of the State’s Attorney’s second Community Justice Center, a community-based crime prevention program that she restored to service upon being elected last November. Assistant State’s Attorneys and victim witness specialists are assigned to these centers to work closely on the prosecution and prevention of local crime with police districts, community groups, schools, businesses and area residents.
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Originally posted 2009-08-15 21:18:42.
CAPITALIZING ON DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGE: How Your Organization Can Prepare for the Global Workforce
By Lynn D. Lieber, Esq.
It is hardly a secret that demographics in the workplace are rapidly shifting. The most obvious change is that of a burgeoning population. At the turn of the 19th century, the world’s population was roughly one billion people; a century later, it had increased by half a billion people. Such growth seems paltry when compared with the present rate of growth. By 1999, the planet housed six billion people. Demographers predict that by 2013, yet another billion people will have joined us. In other words, adding another billion people now takes only fourteen years. Remember, the world’s population grew a half billion during the entire 19th century! It doesn’t require advanced mathematics to see that the world’s population growth is exponential and that we will all be affected.
Why should employers care about what is happening with global demographics? How is this an issue for any organization’s HR, marketing, or PR departments? Savvy managers are right now learning all they can about changing demographics to prepare for radically shifting changes in their organizations’ customer and client bases and in their future pools of job applicants. The face of the world is changing and successful organizations and their managers are watching, learning, and making plans.
THE IMPACT OF MIGRATION
One key factor in changing global demographics that will greatly affect the future workplace is migration. Although migration does not change the population globally, it does significantly shift individual countries’ demographics. It is helpful to understand the numerous reasons why people move. Many of these migration motivations fall under the rubric of a search for a better life: people are moving in search of better job opportunities, personal freedoms, more education, or to avoid drought, hunger, disease, or persecution.
From a workplace perspective it is especially important to ask two questions regarding migration: where are people leaving and where are people going? The United States welcomes more migrants than any other country on earth. In 2002, well over a million people chose to leave other lands and make their lives in the U.S. By comparison, the country receiving the second highest number of migrants was Afghanistan, with 300,000 people emigrating there.
Where are people departing from? In 2002, the greatest number of emigrants left Mexico: 280,000 people. China was a close second with 230,000 people leaving that country. Many Mexican and Chinese emigrants came to the U.S. In fact, nearly a third of foreign-born people in the U.S. have migrated from Mexico. It is especially important for organizations doing business in the United States to understand the role of immigration. Immigration can alter a country’s existing racial and ethnic composition, impacting the culture.
Has your organization developed a plan to respond to these global demographic changes? Or is your organization still trying to do “business as usual”? The latter is not likely to be a winning strategy. No longer can your organization assume that its clients, customers or employees were born in the United States. As the U.S.’s racial and ethnic makeup shifts, products and services must respond in order to capitalize on changing consumer demographics.
In fact, the new marketplace requires changes on a magnitude commensurate with those occurring in the population. If you’re still not convinced that Mexican and Chinese immigrants – along with those from other countries – matter to you and your organization, consider this. By the year 2050, people of color will make up significantly more than half the U.S. population.
The statistics we are talking about are dramatic. For instance, approximately 20 percent of all U.S. children now have a foreign-born parent. The buying power of these households is tremendous. The southern United States has recently experienced the most rapid foreign-born population increase, but no region of the country remains untouched by radical population changes. An organization’s ability to tap into these markets and harness their human resources might very well mean the difference between success and failure.
THE MULTIGENERATIONAL WORKFORCE
Migration is not the only significant cause of demographic change. With the benefits of ever improving nutrition and medical care, people in many countries are living longer. The European Union expects that the number of people 65 years of age or older will rise more than 50 percent between 2005 and 2030, putting significant strain on the pension system as well as businesses. While it is great news that people are living longer, the decrease in young people and the relatively small size of the working population could cause problems for those countries’ economies.
In the United States, between 2011 and 2029, “baby boomers” – people born between 1946 and 1964 and so named because of their large population segment – will be entering traditional retirement age. Of course, not everyone will want to or be able to retire. Some older workers will remain in their jobs and statistics are already reflecting this as a demographic event. For instance, in 2000, 20 percent of U.S. workers were between 65 and 74 years of age. By 2006, there were 5.5 million workers 65 and older, representing a 3 percent increase in only six years. But this is only the beginning. In just a decade, by 2016, that number will have nearly doubled, with 10.1 million workers 65 and older expected to be in the workforce.
However, many baby boomers will indeed retire and that decision will be felt both in the economy and workforce. The younger generations following the retirees will be pulled between the need to care for their aging parents and the need to care for their own children. Benefits and time away from work are likely to become more important to the workforce, creating more pressure on businesses and organizations.
As boomers leave their careers, employers can expect fewer qualified candidates to fill open positions. Organizations will be scrambling to move many of their current employees up into the jobs that boomers will retire from, thus creating openings in the lower levels of many organizations.
YOUR NEXT GENERATION WORKFORCE
Who will fill these new positions? Human Resources Departments are already working with a much more diverse pool of applicants than would have been seen even as recently as a decade ago. This increased workforce diversity is not just the result of migration; baby boomer retirement also impacts the racial/ethnic makeup of the U.S. workforce because race diversity is not distributed evenly across the age groups in the United States. Sixteen percent of the population over 65 years of age is nonwhite, while 39 percent of the population under 25 is nonwhite. In other words, as older employees leave their jobs and younger workers are hired, the racial composition of the workplace will change dramatically.
The same can be said about gender in the workforce. Because women are living longer than men, an aging population will number more women than men. This means that organizations will find their more experienced workforce becoming increasingly female. In order to compete well, organizations will have to ensure that they are women-friendly workplaces and avail themselves of the resource of foreign-born workers.
For HR managers, having an understanding of foreign-born worker demographics can translate into attracting high quality job candidates to the organization. For example, understanding that certain applicants and employees have ties to other countries can be helpful. Foreign-born employees may need to travel farther to visit families – sometimes travel time alone can take four to five full days. Offering flexible time off that enables employees to leave for longer periods can be of tremendous value to foreign-born employees, or those whose families live in foreign countries. It is important to remember, however, that giving special incentives or benefits to people based on their country of origin is illegal. Smart organizations will consider the needs of foreign-born employees, yet always treat all employees equally and never discriminate based on country of birth.
By the year 2050, the United States is expected to have become a minority-majority country, meaning that the number of minority people, taken together, will exceed the number of non-minority residents. These racial and ethnic demographics transitions are already evident. What can you expect as a result of these changes? If you and your organization have been preparing, you will reap dual rewards: the creative and business benefits of greater workplace diversity and an increased customer or client base.
Nevertheless, such great change is not without its challenges nor will it happen organically. Organizations at the forefront of this vast cultural swing will lead the way with HR managers who implement diversity and cultural sensitivity training in their workplaces. Successful hiring decisions in the next generation workforce will have to be free of racial and cultural prejudices.
“Prejudice is a dirty word,” says Sondra Solovay, author, law professor and employment attorney, “and most people are quick to self-report that they are not prejudiced. However, the vast majority of people do have implicit biases.” Solovay explains that implicit biases are unconscious, hidden preferences and she cites the implicit bias testing developed by Harvard University. “Over three million people have taken the Harvard test,” says Solovay, “and those results have consistently shown overwhelming prejudice against certain groups, such as older people, heavier people and African-Americans.”
To capitalize upon the next generation workforce, HR managers will need not only to train their workforce but to also examine their own implicit biases. “A failure to do so,” says Solovay, “can directly translate into poor hiring practices that undermine an organization. Remember, implicit biases are basically unknown beliefs lurking in the minds of good-intentioned people. Many people have implicit bias but honestly believe they hold no prejudices. Therefore it does not even occur to them that they may be unfairly discriminating. This is why it takes conscious work to overcome implicit biases. Revealing them is only the first step. Organizations must commit themselves to training.”
THE SHIFTING MARKETPLACE
Clearly, successful organizations will be increasing diversity within their ranks. But the workforce is not the only place an organization must look to when thinking about increasing diversity. The marketplace is also growing increasingly diverse. What should your organization be considering when trying to capitalize on the new demographic markets we have been discussing?
First of all, organizations must exercise caution in not being too superficial in their marketing vision. Don’t assume that all members of a single racial group have the same experiences; significant and increasing diversity is emerging within single racial groups. For example, in 1970 only 1.3 percent of the U.S. black population was born outside of the United States. By 2000, however, that number had jumped to nearly 8 percent. Therefore, any organization wanting to target “black” consumers must understand that its target market is actually quite diverse.
Fortunately, many organizations already have a wealth of information easily available to them: their own diverse workforce. An organization expanding its marketing to target diverse demographics can first look within its own ranks and Frito-Lay well illustrates this concept. Frito-Lay is a business with a strong commitment to diversity and includes employee resources groups that focus on the needs and desires of certain communities. Listening to suggestions from its diverse employees, Frito-Lay profitably creates new products and flavors and targets its marketing. One example is the popular guacamole-flavored potato chips that were inspired in part by the company’s Latino Employee Network.
THRIVING IN THE CHANGING GLOBAL ECONOMY
There are powerful demographic sea changes taking place. Increased migration is literally changing the face of both your workforce and customers. Organizational managers must be prepared to tap into more diverse human resources. Organizations must also develop the know-how to market their products and services to an increasingly diverse population.
Businesses need to plan for the enormous impact of an aging workforce. Some baby boomers will choose to continue working while others will retire. Both choices have significant ramifications in the workplace. Organizations must be prepared to replace some older workers while accommodating workforce needs of others who remain in their positions.
Business as usual will simply not work when demographics are changing so radically. Those organizations that will thrive in the changing global economy are those that understand these demographic shifts, and managers need to be prepared with a plan to avail themselves of new human and market resources. Does your organization understand these changes? Do you have a plan?
About the Author Lynn D. Lieber
Lynn D. Lieber, Esq. is a seasoned employment law attorney and a nationally recognized spokeswoman on corporate ethics, harassment and discrimination law. Lieber is also founder and CEO of Workplace Answers, a San Francisco-based provider of Web-based legal compliance education.
Ms. Lieber has worked closely with Fortune 1000 companies, major university systems and large municipalities in developing a new approach with highly customized, interactive, web-based diversity training courses that focus on the business benefits of diversity. Lynn also has two decades of experience as a client-side attorney in cases involving workplace harassment and discrimination, and helps organizations avoid potentially costly and reputation-damaging litigation from workplace relationships.
Launched in 1999, DiversityBusiness, with over 46,000 members, is the largest organization of diversity owned businesses throughout the United States that provide goods and services to Fortune 1000 companies, government agencies, and colleges and universities. DiversityBusiness provides research and data collection services for diversity including the “Top 50 Organizations for Multicultural Business Opportunities”, “Top 500 Diversity Owned Companies in America”, and others. Its research has been recognized and published by Forbes Magazine, Business Week and thousands of other print and internet publications. The site has gained national recognition and has won numerous awards for its content and design. DiversityBusiness reaches more diverse suppliers and communicates more information to them on a more frequent basis then all other organizations combined. We also communicate with mainstream businesses, government agencies and educational institutions with information related to diversity. Our magazine reaches over 300,000 readers, a monthly e-newsletter that reaches 2.4 million, and website visitors of 1.2 million a month. It is a leading provider of Supplier Diversity management tools and has the most widely distributed Diversity magazine in the United States. DiversityBusiness.com is produced by Computer Consulting Associates International Inc. (CCAii.com) of Southport, CT. Founded in 1980.
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Originally posted 2009-08-21 00:18:32.
Consumers Turn To Lexington Law For Help Recovering From The Devastating Effect Divorce Can Have On Their Credit Reports And Score
Lexington Law®, the nation’s leading credit correction firm, provides simple solutions to help consumers restore credit health after disastrous life events.
Salt Lake City, UT August 23, 2009 — Lexington Law, the nation’s leading provider of consumer credit correction services, reports that a significant number of clients using their services have fallen into a financial crisis following a divorce. Having assisted hundreds of thousands of clients with their credit repair efforts, Lexington Law has seen time and time again the devastating effects a divorce can have on a person’s credit reports.
When a couple divorces, the emotional turmoil combined with the added stress of extra expenses, dual households, child support, the division of debts and assets, and possibly the separation of a spouse from his or her children can leave a person unable to manage the resulting chaos. Then, even with a decree of divorce entered by a court, creditors generally hold both parties responsible for all debts regardless of whether or not a judge has ruled that only one ex-spouse is responsible. As a result, even ex-spouses who diligently pay their bills on time may see their credit score dramatically decrease when the other ex-spouse defaults on financial obligations, because the creditor will report the delinquency on both spouses’ credit reports.
“The credit system looks at several factors when formulating credit scores; unfortunately, fairness is not one of them,” said John Heath, Directing Attorney for Lexington Law (http://www.lexingtonlaw.com). “Even the most amicable of divorces can lead to missed payments and dings on both ex-spouses’ credit reports. Worse, judgments, foreclosures, and bankruptcies that result from one ex-spouse’s mistakes can destroy the credit ratings of both parties.”
It’s situations like these that negatively impact an individual’s credit scores through no fault of their own and reveal the shortcomings of today’s consumer credit system. For instance, a person in this situation could be denied a loan or be denied a job based solely on a credit score that is not an accurate representation of the person’s credit risk. To assist these people, Lexington Law helps consumers dispute the questionable negative items in their credit reports that are giving lenders, potential employers, insurance providers, and anyone else who looks at their credit reports, an incomplete or inaccurate understanding of their credit history.
“I paid my bills, had great credit and then got a divorce… five years (later) I’m still dealing with the consequences,” reports Natalie, a client of Lexington Law, “and then I found Lexington Law and am able to get back on my feet… My score has gone up almost 200 points since I’ve started this program and I have referred many, many friends. Anyone with credit issues can sign up with Lexington and make a difference in their credit. I look at it as a rehab facility for people who had issues in the past but want to fix their credit and their lives. A better future is coming.”
About Lexington Law
Lexington Law, a consumer advocacy law firm, is the nation’s leading provider of credit correction services. These services have been refined through 18 years of experience representing more than ½ million clients as they’ve worked to resolve credit issues. Through participation in services which address issues with creditors as well as the credit bureaus directly, our average clients see 84% of the damaging information removed from their credit reports within 1 year. (Individual results may vary). For details about Lexington Law’s services, attorneys, or statistics, visit: lexingtonlaw.com (http://www.lexingtonlaw.com)
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Originally posted 2009-08-24 22:10:27.
New York aviation accident attorney-Jonathan C. Reiter-alerts federal agency head claims FAA failed to implement NYC air space safety
August 20, 2009
Leading New York personal injury lawyer, Jonathan C. Reiter, experienced in aviation accident lawsuits, reveals the head of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) http://www.ntsb.gov, Debbie Hersman, accused the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) http://www.faa.gov of failing to implement “scores of recommendations” about regulating shared air space between tour helicopters and small airplanes. As covered by the New York Times, on Tuesday, August 11, 2009, the NTSB leader was quoted when she addressed the media, while NTSB workers were examining the wreckage of the tour helicopter recovered from the New York City river. The wreckage was from the air space disaster between a small plane and the chopper over the Hudson River that killed all passengers and crew of both aircrafts totaling 9 people.
Hersman further stated if the NTSB recommendations were implemented by the FAA that aviation safety would improve in the shared New York City air space. The tragic aviation disaster happened last Saturday when a small plane collided in mid-air with a tour helicopter carrying Italian tourists, sending both aircrafts plunging into the Hudson River. Nine people died in the airplane-helicopter crash, and it took investigators two days to find the wreckage. The following information regarding the shared New York City area airspace was revealed:
■Every day 225 aircraft fly within 3 miles of the crash site
■Pilots flying below 1,100 feet are not required by the FAA to be monitored by air-traffic controllers.
■Pilots flying below 1,100 feet are free to choose their air travel route
■The pilot of the small plane chose to communicate with Teterboro air-traffic controllers.
The pilot of the small plane, Steven Altman, chose to communicate his location and air space route with Teterboro, New Jersey, air-traffic controllers, just before the crash. The NTSB also released this communication. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) http://www.natca.org/ states the rules of the shared air space, termed the “exclusionary corridor” between the George Washington and Verrazano bridges, are known as “visual flight rules” which means “see or be seen”. Pilots flying in this air space up to 1,100 feet above the water are expected to communicate their altitudes and locations between one another over a radio frequency. This allows pilots of small airplanes and helicopters to travel below larger aircraft traffic without direction from air-traffic controllers.
New York aviation accident attorney, Jonathan C. Reiter, a New York personal injury lawyer educating New Yorkers about complexities of shared air space. http://www.jcreiterlaw.com/ Phone: (212) 736-0979
Press Release Contact Information:
New York Aviation Airline Accident Lawyer
350 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10118
Phone: (212) 736-0979
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Originally posted 2009-08-20 22:04:09.