MADISON, Wis. – LAWFUEL – Law News, Law Jobs Network -NavGate Techn…

MADISON, Wis. – LAWFUEL – Law News, Law Jobs Network -NavGate Technologies (www.NavGate.org), a pioneering industry leader and developer of technology-based care planning solutions for the whole family, has created a revolutionary new tool designed to help employees and employers address the significant problem of balancing care related work/family responsibilities. With the significant increase in the number of family responsibilities discrimination lawsuits filed by employees, this innovative and inexpensive proprietary system known as CareOptionsOnLine™, or COOL™, can help reduce employer liabilities and lost productivity costs. It is also proving to be what every employee needs to help navigate the increasingly demanding dual pressures of caregiving and working.

For years employers have espoused their commitment to work/family balance, often achieving favorable publicity as a result. However, behind the headlines, some employers have done little to support this work/family balance appropriately when it comes to caregiving and eldercare issues. In fact, between 1996-2005, the number of family responsibilities discrimination cases filed grew nearly 400 percent from the previous decade, according to a recently published study by the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law.

NavGate’s president and CEO, Robert Pearson says, “Experts estimate that two out of five American workers currently care for spouses, children, parents or parents-in-law who are ill, disabled or elderly and this number is expected to rise significantly in the coming years. The challenge of trying to balance work demands with caregiving responsibilities may lead employees to feel both unsupported by their employer and discriminated against if they perceive they have been passed over for advancement due to their caregiving responsibilities.”

“CareOptionsOnLine takes much of the stress and confusion out of the situations that confront people who must care for an elderly parent or family member who is ill or disabled while maintaining a demanding work schedule,” says Michael Bina, Principal, Intellectual Marketing (www.intellectualmarketing.com). “Employers who offer COOL to their employees are providing them with tools to manage the demands of work and family while demonstrating to employees they care about them and their families. These employees are less likely to sue because they believe their employer cares. It just makes good risk management sense to implement such an accessible and useful tool.”

“COOL is the most comprehensive solution available in the market today,” states Pearson. “Many employers mistakenly believe their employee assistance programs (EAPs) are in place to address these caregiving issues. Unfortunately, EAPs don’t specialize in areas related to providing real solutions for caregiving responsibilities. Consequently, employees feel a sense of isolation and lack of support, leading to the potential for lawsuits.”

COOL is a proprietary Web-based application offering a unique combination of an interactive care planning tool with a nationwide care resource knowledgebase containing over one million records. The comprehensive nature of COOL is unmatched by any care planning site found on the Internet. Employees and their family members can access COOL at any time, anywhere, to help resolve a wide variety of issues including:

Preparing for childbirth and budgeting for maternity leave
Calculating the financial impact on personal wealth if they are forced to reduce their work schedule or take a Family & Medical Leave Act absence to meet caregiving responsibilities
Locating medical facilities, physicians, childcare and other care providers anywhere in the country
Finding and arranging for home care and homemaker services
Assessing the care needs of a seriously ill, disabled or elderly family member and creating an individually-tailored care plan to address care needs
Researching the availability, quality ratings and cost of long-term care, nursing homes, adult day care, home health care and assisted living facilities nationwide
Creating a health care advanced directive expressing end-of-life wishes
Projecting the costs of long-term care for financial and retirement planning purposes.
“Simply stated, CareOptionsOnLine is a valuable, inexpensive employee benefit employers can use to support employees in balancing these special work/family issues while enhancing productivity,” according to Pearson.

For Employers, HR Professionals, Benefits Managers and Benefit Consultants to request information about COOL solutions go to www.NavGate.org, email [email protected] or contact directly: Robert Meister, CCRS, LTCGS, 866-637-2617, email [email protected] or Lea Fosz, MBA, FLMI, CCRS, LTCGS, at 800-252-5410, email [email protected]

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