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POSTED: Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Safeguard loses discrimination suit

Safeguard Services Inc. has agreed to pay $49,500 to a class of former employees to resolve an age discrimination suit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of two workers.

The suit, filed by EEOC on Sept. 25 in federal court in Honolulu, alleged that Safeguard Services subjected two older workers to a hostile work environment through verbal abuse and age discrimination.

Federal Judge Susan Oki Mollway signed the consent decree resolving the suit Friday.

As part of the settlement, Safeguard also agreed to review its policies on harassment and discrimination, train managers and supervisors about age harassment and provide information to the EEOC concerning its handling of Title VII-related complaints.

Ala Moana to get 4 new tenants

Ala Moana Center, which recently welcomed American Apparel, Lin's Market and Animation Addict, will open four more stores in the coming months.

On July 29, LEGO will open its first Hawaii store in a 2,064-square-foot location next to Victoria's Secret. Links of London, which features jewelry, leather and silver items, also will open its first store here in July on level two near Macy's. Ala Bella, a 1,152-square-foot accessory store, will open on level one near the center stage.

In August, Taco del Mar will open a 1,122-square-foot store on the makai side of level one.

Businesses seek estate tax repeal

SmartBusiness Hawaii and the SBH Entrepreneurial Education Foundation are pushing for job creation through the repeal of the federal estate tax.

The estate tax, which expires at the end of 2009, is assessed at a 45 percent rate on assets for an estate exceeding $3.5 million. Some lawmakers are pressing to raise the rate and lower the exclusion, while others would like to do the reverse.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, Hawaii could possibly add 7,000 jobs if the tax were repealed.

“;If doing away with the estate tax will trigger the creation of more jobs at no cost to taxpayers, then it would make good sense to eliminate the tax,”; said Sen. Sam Slom (R, Hawaii Kai).

Parents cutting into kids' savings

Parents are tapping into their children's savings to pay bills and are more prepared to talk to them about drugs and sex than money, according to a national survey released yesterday by ING DIRECT.

One in three parents have reduced contributions they make to their children's savings, and nearly one in five have taken money from their children's savings. One in four parents do not have money set aside for their children, the company said. Two in five are more prepared to talk to their children about drugs than finances, and nearly three in 10 parents are more prepared to talk about sex than money, ING DIRECT said.

The survey, conducted in April, interviewed 2,123 adults.

ING DIRECT, an online bank, opened its first Waikiki cafe in November at 1958 Kalakaua Ave.

On the move

» University of Hawaii West Oahu Business Administration assistant professor Stefanie Wilson has received the UH Frances Davis Teaching Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. The award recognizes the dedication and demonstrated excellence of teachers of undergraduate students.

» National Association of Industrial and Office Properties Kukule Hale Awards presented Peter Vincent Architects the New Commercial Project Award for completing Crossroads at Kapolei Shopping Center.

» Century 21 presented the following awards for June: Gene Pudiquet was the company's top listing agent; Kevin Lau, the company's top producer; and Karen Garo, the company's top sales agent.