Corrections or additions?
These articles by Peter J. Mladineo and Barbara Fox were published
in U.S. 1 Newspaper on June 10, 1998. All rights reserved.
Survival Guide II
In an essay for the summer issue of Men’s Journal,
described the mating ritual of frigate birds he encountered
on the Galapagos Islands.
During mating season, he wrote, male frigates perched on a volcano
ridge and identified themselves by inflating balloon-like bright red
protuberances from their throats. The females then would fly overhead
and select their mate. Vonnegut asked his tour guide if the female’s
selection was based on the size or the redness of the male’s bulging
throat. No, she snapped, the female frigates chose the males with
the most secure nests.
That seems to be the way women select stocks. While high-risk stocks
might still be the dominion of men, women are much more likely to
select safe stocks, says Kathleen Muldoon,
a senior vice president
of Summit Bank’s women’s financial future division
As investors, "women are going to be very, very
she says. "Three-fourths of women agree that they always favor
safe investments even if it means a low return."
Muldoon is one of the panelists on marketing financial services to
women at this year’s Marketing to Women Congress held Thursday, June
11, at 8:30 a.m. at the Windows on the World in New York City’s World
According to a report by A.G. Edwards & Sons, women comprise more
than 40 percent of wealthy Americans and 90 percent of women will
become wholly responsible for their finances. This bodes well for
people in Muldoon’s line of work. But it may not bode as well for
the traditional hard-sell stockbroker.
Women aren’t as likely to be swayed by the hard sell, Muldoon reports,
and will generally ask more questions than a man. "The woman
really wants to understand it," says Muldoon. "She doesn’t
want to just take your word for it."
Muldoon, 44, who has presided over the division since its inception
18 months ago, explains that single women are now receiving more
from the financial industry, which had initially focused on widowed
and married women. But much of this focus is being directed from
"One of the reasons that I think makes this a priority for me
is that I am a single parent," she says. "I have a very vested
interest in making sure that women are able to take financial care
As part of the Federal Welfare Reform Act of 1996, a
new law went into effect January 1 that makes it easier to track
as they slink from job to job.
It is called the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity
Act of 1996, and it makes it mandatory for employers to report the
name, address, and Social Security number of every new employee within
20 days of being hired. New Jersey employers must forward the W-4
forms of all new hires to the Office of Child Support, Box 716,
New hire entries — and the Office of Child Support now receives
up to 500 a day — are being compiled in a state directory and
forwarded to a federal one kept by the Department of Health and Human
Services. An employer is notified when a deadbeat is identified and
instructed to withhold from the employee’s income an amount equal
to his or her child support payments, including ones that are past
due. Businesses with employees in more than one state may designate
one of them to receive all new hire information, but they must notify
each state in writing with the name of their designated state.
There are penalties for non-compliance: $25 for each unintentional
violation, and up to $500 for a deliberate one. But according to
child support specialist with the Office of Child Support,
no penalties have been assessed yet against New Jersey employers —
many of whom remain completely in the dark about the new regulation.
To fill that gap, says Emley, a mailer is now being prepared which
will be sent to all New Jersey employers by the end of June.
Two New Jersey Supreme Court cases have made it more
attractive for private lawyers to represent workers on
by sweetening the potential pot. Under the traditional arrangement,
if the employee wins, the attorney gets paid, usually one-third of
the settlement or award. If the suit is lost, the attorney walks away
But suppose a $20,000 a year janitor is suing for a year’s lost wages
and no punitive damages? The lawyer’s fee of 30 percent would not
amount to much and Perry Warren
says that would discourage lawyers
from taking the case. "If the corporation puts five lawyers on
the case and spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on defense,
never to pay a penny, the plaintiff’s lawyer would walk away, if the
best he would do is to get one-third of $20,000," says Warren,
an attorney with Maselli, Warren & Lanciano on Alexander Road.
In "Rendine vs Pantzer," two women went on maternity leaves,
had babies, and were terminated. They claimed discrimination on the
basis of sex and previous maternity leaves. In "Szczepanski vs.
Newcomb Medical Center," a nurse brought suit against a hospital,
alleging she had been sexually harassed by a doctor and had suffered
retaliation for not responding.
"In these two cases the court said that the state does not have
the resources or inclination to prosecute every incident of unlawful
discrimination, so the state wants to encourage private attorneys
to take the cases," says Warren.
Now the employee’s attorney may be awarded an additional or
fee. "With the fee-shifting provision, the plaintiff’s attorney
may be awarded by the court the full amount plus a bonus. Decisions
on the two cases meant that a particularly good job can be rewarded
by an award over and above the bill. That fee shifting provision is
what often forces companies to the settlement table," says Warren.
"A big corporation may think `We can crush this guy and his
lawsuit,’ but if they realize they may be hit. . ."
Attorneys who represent employers predictably oppose these new
"With these decisions," says Tom Lewis
of Stark & Stark
on Lenox Drive, (http://www.stark.com, "the court is
practically suggesting that the
more an attorney defends a client, the more money will be awarded
to the plaintiff’s attorney if the client loses." If the defense
attorney is aggressive about asking for depositions, the plaintiff’s
attorney piles up fees — which, if the defense loses, the
will have to pay. "You almost have your hands tied behind your
back when you are defending a corporation," says Lewis. "You
have to walk a fine line."
Lewis calls for a law that would limit punitive damages on
lawsuits. "In New Jersey, there is a limitation on punitive
for virtually everything except discrimination lawsuits." So in
a product liability suit, where someone loses an arm or leg though
someone knew the product was defective, the punitive damages are
"But when someone claims the boss asked her out on a date, there
is no limit to the potential punitive damage award for the sexual
harassment charge. "That has to be changed legislatively."
"We don’t need bonuses to get the attorneys to take cases. And
all the money in the world can’t change the facts of the case,"
While the Web may be ideal for marketing products, it
is being used to sell services, as least for PSE&G. Three-fourths
of the people in New Jersey know the utility giant as their gas and
electricity supplier, but PSE&G has also spent this century servicing
appliances. As far back as the 1920s, the company was selling,
and testing appliances, promoting such newfangled gadgets as toasters,
vacuums cleaners, and electric fans. Now its WorryFree Appliance
Contract is being featured on a new appliance — your computer.
Customers can learn about and sign up for the service contract online.
The contract covers repairs and most replacement parts for home
water heaters (electric or gas), ranges, dryers, ovens, cooktops,
and electric central air conditioning units — of all ages. Visit
the website at http://www.pseg.com
or call 800-350-PSEG.
If you are concerned about whether your underground
storage tank meets regulations, call the PSE&G hotline at
By December 22 certain fuel oil underground storage tanks need to
be removed or upgraded. If your tank meets these criteria you need
"As we approach the deadline, it may become almost impossible
to find a contractor to perform the services at any price," says
,a product manager with PSE&G.
Those who fail to comply with the mandate may be fined by the state
and could possibly have their insurance coverage reduced or
PSE&G is not a disinterested party in this transaction; it hopes that
those using fuel oil will switch to natural gas and in some cases
(if the client is large enough or the installation would be relatively
easy) would install a natural gas system without charge.
As some staffing firms merge and consolidate, others
band together for efficiency and strength in numbers. Julie
the president of TempNet, is based in Spokane, Washington, but the
network has members in more than 100 markets. They congregate in
only" meetings, submit to peer reviews, operate a nationwide
system, offer three educational conferences per year, and participate
in extensive networking opportunities.
A quick look of Princeton’s personnel firms reveals that a surprising
one third of the agencies — or about 20 of them — are
Dues are $300 for a new member plus $750 a year and $150 additional
for each branch. Jennifer Szwalek
at Creative Marketing Alliance
is marketing TempNet (http://www.cmasolutions.com.
Program chairmen can tap into various speakers’ bureaus
to schedule meetings for next year.
"We’ll work together to make sure that our presentation fits your
group," says Sharon J.B. Copeland,
executive director of
Prevent Child Abuse-New Jersey. Her organization can provide speakers
on "What to Do Instead of Spanking a Child," "Child Abuse
and Neglect and its Prevention," and "Creating Caring
Call Abby Schwalb
The North Brunswick office of the Visiting Nurse Association offers
nurses and other educators who can speak on subjects ranging from
women’s health to Alzheimer’s Disease and arthritis. Other topics
are violence prevention and help for caregivers in the sandwich
Also offered are group health screenings for cholesterol, diabetes,
hypertension, and osteoporosis. Call 732-219-7444
Free books on how to secure financing and how to choose
the best bank for your business are available to clients of SCORE
(Service Corps of Retired Executives). Paid for by Visa U.S.A. and
written and edited by Inc. Magazine, these useful book offer step
by step tips on determining your financial needs, assembling your
loan package, sizing up alternative lending sources, perfecting your
presentation, building your banking relationship, and working with
For instance, the workbook warns that getting a loan can take from
7 to 16 weeks or longer, allowing for three to six weeks to prepare
the package and one to three weeks for bank presentations. Then it
might take two to four weeks for bank processing (requests for
information, and generating offers) and finally one to three weeks
for final paperwork and loan completion. "If your financial
requires a fast turnaround time," the book advises, "consider
applying for a bridge loan or short-term line of credit."
More than 100,000 copies of each workbook have been distributed
For an initial consultation with Princeton’s SCORE chapter call
Corrections or additions?
This page is published by PrincetonInfo.com
— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.