Author:Jeffrey Lehman, Shirelle Phelps

Page 102

Precedence or preference in position over others similarly situated. As used, for example, with reference to job seniority, the worker with the most years of service is first promoted within a range of jobs subject to seniority, and is the last laid off, proceeding so on down the line to the youngest in point of service. The term may also refer to the priority of a lien or encumbrance.

A person who holds a lien or has an encumbrance against the property of another, so that her claim must be satisfied before any others, has seniority or priority.

An employee has seniority if he is among those with the most years of service at the place of employment. Such seniority entitles the employee to compete for promotion to jobs for which junior (less senior) employees would be ineligible or would receive less consideration. Traditionally, it also gives him the status of being among the last to lose his job in case of lay-offs.


Senior citizens are often the victims of street crimes, such as ROBBERY and assault. But they are more often the target of trained con artists who use a variety of techniques to trick senior citizens into giving them money for their fraudulent schemes. Whether it is a promise of a lucrative investment, a free vacation, or a great deal on home repair, senior citizens too often succumb to a variety of scams.

It is estimated that U.S. consumers lose up to $60 billion annually to CONSUMER FRAUD. An estimated 50 percent of phone scam victims are over the age of sixty-five. Convicted con artists report that senior citizens are more trusting than younger persons. Some commentators attribute this to the fact that today's senior citizens grew up and matured in a society that was less threatening. Nevertheless, a study by the AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF RETIRED PERSONS indicates that the stereotypical victim?a lonely, forgetful, gullible senior?bears little resemblance to the persons who are scammed. Victims are relatively affluent, educated, well-informed, and connected with their communities. Most, however, are not aware that con artists use the telephone to accomplish their fraudulent schemes. They believe that the person on the other end of the phone line is honest and hardworking.

Legitimate telemarketing is big business, generating nearly $460 billion a year in sales. It is estimated that about $40 billion a year is lost to fraudulent telemarketers...

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