The Alcott Group   Good for Your Business ~ Good for Your People
    •  Compliance with the ADA
    •  Separation Agreements
    •  Conducting Internal Investigations
    •  Unsubscribe / Subscribe
    •  Preventing Employee Fraud

Welcome to the Spring 2005 issue of The Alcott Advisor. At Alcott, it's been an eventful start to 2005. In January, we acquired a Buffalo, NY based PEO by the name of Contract Staffing. Needless to say, we have been busy training their staff on our systems and procedures and dealing with all of the back-office issues that arise from this type of transaction. See the sidebar article for more information.

So, The Alcott Advisor had to go on hold for a month or two. But now 'It's Back' and this issue features four informational articles on important issues related to Human Resources management in small businesses. The areas covered include ADA compliance, conducting internal investigations, preventing employee fraud and drafting employee separation agreements.

As always, we welcome you questions and feedback. You can contact us at and we'll be happy to reply - confidentially of course.


  Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act
By Pam Bauman, HR Director - The Alcott Group

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which was enacted in 1990, prohibits discrimination and ensures equal employment opportunity for persons with disabilities. Many small businesses mistakenly believe that they are not required to comply with the ADA legislation. However, the Title I employment provisions of the ADA apply to private employers, state and local governments, employment agencies and labor unions and include all employers with 15 or more employees.

What Constitutes Disabled?
For small businesses, making the required accommodations for disabled employees, which the ADA defines as those with physical or mental impairment that substantially limit one or more major life activity, may seem daunting . . .

Click here to read more


  Conducting Internal Investigations
By Robert Byrnes, Risk Manager – The Alcott Group

Okay. You suddenly have an HR incident on your hands. It might involve harassment, discrimination, verbal or physical abuse or any number of other possible complaints from one or more of your employees.

One of the first actions that should be undertaken is to conduct an "internal investigation," which is an impartial inquiry to uncover facts of the alleged incident. Fact gathering is the goal – not fault finding, so impartiality is key. Should the incident result in legal action by the complainant, a properly conducted investigation will demonstrate that you, the employer, were proactive in responding to the complaint and will ultimately aid in your defense.

Following are some simple rules that will make your "internal investigations" more effective:

Click here to read more


  Preventing Employee Fraud
Contributed by George Simolin - The CFO Resource

Embezzlement is perhaps the most common kind of employee theft. Small businesses often fall prey to this deception due to the lack of internal controls. Here are some tips to help protect your business from unethical employees.

Separate Duties
You run a great risk when a single employee controls a financial transaction from beginning to end. Dividing the responsibilities will make it more difficult for a person to steal from you and adjust the records to cover it up.

Bank Statements
The business owner or outside accountant should receive unopened bank statements and cancelled checks each month.

Click here to read more

George Simolin, founder of The CFO Resource, has over a quarter century of experience in executive management, accounting and financial administration, in both public and privately held firms. Mr. Simolin has held senior financial positions including Controller, VP of Finance and Chief Financial Officer. His breadth of experience in manufacturing, distribution, and software services for consumer, industrial, and business-to-business products provides the solid foundation of expertise that enables The CFO Resource to help clients maximize their profits, improve cash flow and grow their businesses. George can be contacted at 631-587-1370 or


  Employee Separation Agreements
By Pam Bauman, HR Director – The Alcott Group

Separation Agreement Basics
During the course of a business’ lifespan, it may become necessary to conduct a layoff of a certain number of employees. Depending upon the circumstances, the business may determine that it should effect separation agreements for some of its employees. This is primarily an act of good will on the part of the employer who would like to take care of loyal employees and demonstrate appreciation. In many instances, employers will use separation agreements with only certain level of employees (e.g., those with long years of service to the company, executives, etc.). In all instances, however, separation agreements and the often accompanying release must be handled with care.

Click here to read more


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The Alcott Group Acquires Contract Staffing, Inc.

The Alcott Group of Farmingdale, NY, one of New York State's most prominent Professional Employer Organizations (PEO) headed by Louis Basso and Barry Shorten, announced that their company has acquired Contract Staffing, Inc., a Buffalo, NY-based PEO. Contract Staffing, which will be known as The Western New York Division of Alcott, will retain its existing staff and their founder and president, Michael LaMancuso will stay on as division president.

Both organizations, which have gained distinction within their industry and in national small business circles, are looking forward to the increased coverage of New York State and to the economies of scale brought about by the acquisition. Alcott brings over 250 affiliated companies and 3500 employees, primarily located throughout the NYC, metropolitan area, which will be pooled with Contract Staffing's over 150 affiliated companies and 1200 employees situated in Western New York.

Out and About - Networking on Long Island:

LIA Breakfast - "Report from Washington" with Senator Hilary R. Clinton
Date: Monday, April 18, 2005
Time: 8:00AM - 10:00AM
Location: Crest Hollow Country Club - Woodbury, NY

AITP Breakfast - "Bridging the Gap Between Education and Industry"
Date: Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Time: 8:00AM - 10:00AM
Location: Milleridge Inn

HIA Executive Breakfast: "Board Room - War Room"
Date: Thursday, April 28, 2005
Time: 8:00AM - 10:00AM
Location: Sheraton Long Island (LIE Exit 53)

LISTnet LISA Awards Dinner
Date: Wednesday, May 4, 2005
Time: 6:00PM - 9:00PM
Location: Garden City Hotel
Registration: (631) 224-4400

Ronald McDonald House of LI - Annual Networking Event
Date: Thursday, May 5, 2005
Time: 5:00PM - 8:00PM
Location: 267-07 76th Ave., New Hyde Park, NY
Registration: Call Melanie Nerz at (718) 343-5683

LISTnet Human Resources SIG - Employee Benefit Forum
Date: Mid-May Date tbd
Time: tbd
Location: Melville - tbd
Info & Registration: or

Hauppauge Industrial Association - 17th Annual Trade Show and Conference
Date: Thursday, May 26, 2005
Time: 9:00AM - 4:00PM
Location: Suffolk Community College Exhibition Center

LI/Metro NY Capital Forum
Date: Thursday, June 9, 2005
Time: 8:00AM - 4:00PM
Location: Fox Hollow - Woodbury

The Alternative Board - Business Prosperity Series
Featuring Mark Steven - Best Selling Author of "Your Marketing Sucks"
Date: Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Time: 8:00AM - 10:00AM
Location: Carlyle on the Green - Bethpage, NY

Is a PEO Right for You?
Take Alcott's SELF EVALUATION to learn if your company is a candidate for HR Outsourcing.

Complimentary HR Strategy Evaluation:
Is your HR shop in order? Do you have a focused HR strategy or is it something you just can't seem to get to? Alcott's on-site evaluation will help you create an actionable plan for addressing one of your most critical business processes. Click here to learn more.

The Alcott Advisor

November 2004
October 2004
June 2004
April 2004

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