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    •  What's New at Alcott?
    •  Did You Know?
    •  Alcott In the News
    •  On the Regulatory Front
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Welcome to the Summer 2009 edition of the Alcott Advisor. I think we just missed Spring -- it was washed away by the rain. Let's hope, now that it's officially Summer, that Mother Nature got the memo and lets us see the sun on a more regular basis.

This month's feature article deals with employee reward programs. This has become a very hot topic in this economy. It's something that every business should think about, but it's not a "one size fits all" type of initiative.

If you have any issues or comments, call me at 631-420-0100 extension 313
or e-mail me at

Have a terrific Summer!    Al Anastasi

Employee Reward Programs,
More Than a Gold Star

  Loyal and dedicated employees represent a business' greatest asset, especially during challenging times. It is always important for management to show its appreciation to those employees who routinely give 110%, represent the company well, and contribute to its success. This is particularly true during tough times. In recognition of this, many executives implement employee recognition and reward programs, as well as job promotions and salary increases. Understanding the various types of programs that can be used and how best to utilize them is important for all businesses striving to retain their best employees.

According to findings from a survey conducted by the Hay Group, a global management consulting firm, in conjunction with Fortune magazine's rankings of "The World's Most Admired Companies" and "America's Most Admired Companies:"

Click here to read more

Did You Know?

  The Department of Homeland Security has an Internet-based system allowing participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly-hired employees. It's called E-Verify and was formerly know as the Basic Pilot/Employment Eligibility Verification Program.

This free and voluntary tool is believed to be one of the best means available for determining employment eligibility of new hires and validating their Social Security Numbers.

Using E-Verify, employers can compare an employee's Form I-9 information with over 444 million records in the Social Security Administration's data base and more than 60 million records in the Department of Homeland Security's immigration database.

Click here to read more

On the Regulatory Front

  New Employment Laws  currently being reviewed in congressional committees, include:

The Employee Free Choice Act, S-560, sponsored by Sen. Edward Kennedy
(D-MA). This bill, if made law, would amend the National Labor Relations Act to, among other things, abolish the secret ballot election in union organizing campaigns and would provide for mandatory injunctions for unfair labor practices during the organizing efforts.

Healthy Families Act, S-910, Sponored by Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA). This bill requires certain employers, who employ 15 or more employees for each working day during 20 or more workweeks a year, to provide a minimum paid sick leave and employment benefits of:
(1) seven days annually for those who work at least 30 hours per week; and
(2) a prorated annual amount for those who work less than 30 but at least 20 hours a week, or less than 1,500 but at least 1,000 hours per year.

Click here to read more

What's New at Alcott?

At "Take Your Children to Work Day," Kids Get Real Lessons in Business Operations, Profits, Paychecks, Benefits & Taxes
For The Alcott Group, sharing its knowledge about employee services, payroll, taxes and benefits is a natural. However, the audience is usually other businesses. This time, the lessons were for the children of Alcott's employees. What they learned at the company's recent "Take Your Children to Work Day" was how a business runs and makes profits, how employees are hired, paid, receive benefits, invest and pay taxes -- all of which you can't learn too young.

The children, ranging in age from 5 to 12 years old, started off the day with breakfast at 9 A.M. and then a welcome from Alcott President Lou Basso and Executive Vice President Barry Shorten. In his welcome address, Mr. Basso taught the children a lesson in how business makes a profit.

Click here to read more

Alcott in the News

  • Alcott's new Human Resources Assistant Shannon Mann was featured in Buffalo Business First's People on the Move.
  • Alcott's Sales Manager Chris Greene, serving from the Oklahoma City office, was highlighted in The Journal Record's People on the Move.
  • Alcott's Director of Human Resources Bob Chanin was quoted in Newsday's LI Business section in an article titled, "Inexpensive ways to motivate your staff."
  • Buffalo Business First also ran an article in its new online publication, Access U.S., titled "Administering U.S. Employees" in which Alcott was highlighted.


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