Hurricane Relief for Businesses

Courtesy of Citrin Cooperman Consulting, the following is a brief summary of programs and relief provisions that are being implemented to assist businesses and individuals who are located in the counties designated as disaster areas by the respective jurisdiction:

Disaster Relief Programs

Federal:  Through its Office of Disaster Assistance (ODA), the small business administration (SBA) provides low-interest, long-term loans for physical and economic damage caused by a declared disaster.  SBA offers home and personal property loans, business physical disaster loans, and economic injury disaster loans.

Home and Personal Loans: Renters and Homeowners could qualify for $40,000 or $200,000, respectively, to repair or replace their primary residence and to replace clothing, furniture, cars, appliances, etc.

Business Physical Disaster Loans:  Businesses, profit or nonprofit organizations located in declared disaster areas could qualify for disaster loans ;up to $2 million.  The proceeds could be used to repair or replace real property, machinery, fixtures and equipment, and inventory.  The terms can be up to 30 years depending on the business’s’s ability to pay.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan:  If your business is located in the declared disaster area, you may qualify for this program if your business cannot meet its obligations and pay its ordinary and necessary business expenses.  Loan limits up to $2 million.

You can get more details on the above program by visiting the following SBA link:



New York City Hurricane Sandy Business Recovery Programs:

For small-Mid-sized Businesses: Emergency loans capped at $25,000.  Call 311 and ask for NYC Business Emergency Loan.

For Mid-sized to Large Businesses: An emergency letter will be available, allowing businesses to avoid paying New York State and New York City sales tax on material purchases for rebuilding.  Reconstruction programs exceeding $500,000 may qualify.  Contact Shin Mitsugi at

For any business that is temporarily displaced from its space:  NYC will make available space at the Brooklyn Army Terminal free of charge for the next 30 days.  Please contact Doug Roberts at for further information on this program.

the link to the NYC page on the above program is:

Qualified Disaster Payments:

Hurricane Sandy has been designated a qualified disaster by the Federal government.  As such, payments made to individuals by their employers by a government agency (such as FEMA), or by others are not subject to income tax to the recipient.  The payments can be excluded from the individual’s taxable income.  Qualify disaster relief payments include amounts to cover necessary personal, family, living expenses, including costs to repairs or rebuild personal residence and to replace contents to the extent not covered by insurance.

Relief of Tax Filing and Payment Deadlines:


Individuals and Businesses, in designated disaster areas as assessed by FEMA, have until February 1, 2013 to file the following returns and payments.

Fourth quarter individual estimated tax payments, normally due January 15, 2013

Third and fourth quarter payroll and excise taxes, normally due on October 31, 2012 and January 31, 2013

Tax-exempt organizations that file Form 990 returns with an original or extended deadline falling between the above periods.

The IRS announced that it will abate any interest and any late-payment or late-filing penalties that would otherwise apply.

The IRS is also waiving failure-to-deposit penalties for federal payroll and excise tax deposits normally due on or after the disaster area start date and before November 26th, if the deposits are made by November 26, 2012.

The relief applies to the taxpayers and organizations described above, and any whom resides outside the disaster area that has books, records or tax professionals located in the area affected by Hurricane Sandy, in the following localities as assessed continually by FEMA

In Connecticut (starting October 27); Fairfield, Middlesex, New Haven, and New London Counties and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and Mohegan Tribal Nation located within New London County.
In New Jersey (starting October 2): Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Somerset and Union
In New York (starting October 27): Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk and Westchester



 Memorial Day, first enacted to honor Union and Confederate soldiers following the American Civil War, was extended after World War I to honor Americans who have died in all wars. Memorial Day often marks the start of the summer vacation season. Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May. Another tradition is to fly the US flag at half-staff from dawn until noon local time. One of the longest-standing traditions is the running of the Indianapolis 500, an auto race which has been held in conjunction with Memorial Day since 1911. It runs on the Sunday preceding the Memorial Day holiday. The Memorial Tournament golf event has been held on or close to the Memorial Day weekend since 1976. The National Memorial Day Concert takes place on the west lawn of the United States Capitol. Music is performed, and respect is paid to the men and women who died in war. Thank you to all our Veterans. Let freedom ring.

Wanna Get Fired? Do These 10 Things



by David Gee

Most of the posts on the pages of Staffing Talk have to do with hiring people, not firing them. And that is as it should be. But when a member of the editorial staff at this fine site sent me a survey about the Top 10 reasons companies fire people, I thought I would share it. As for the source, we found the write-through on Hub Pages, but their source wasn’t credited. Crazy bloggers.

Speaking of crazy, before I get started on the list, I want to share a funny little story. After I posted the headline and wrote the first paragraph, I did a Google image search of “You’re Fired” to see what was available. Of course, there were the usual Donald Trump pictures featuring his colossal combover and pointing finger. But then I saw a very amateurish stick figure drawing that came from a Chicago law firm’s blog. I did a double take and realized it was a drawing I made myself for Staffing Talk last year. Oh, well, I’m sure I ripped a photo off before. Once anyway. I never dreamed there would be a day when my art work would be in demand though. Take that Mrs. Vail, my 6th grade art teacher who told me I didn’t have a shred of artistic talent.

So anyway, let’s going going with the list, best ways to get fired.

1) Dishonesty

This one is kind of a no brainer, even though it tops the list. Of course if you lie to your boss, share proprietary company information, fudge or fake time sheets or expense reports and the like, this is always potential grounds for firing.

Add some social media wrinkles to this one though now. Doing things like tweeting/blogging/sharing disparaging things about your boss, co-workers and/or company can get you in trouble, as can taking a sick day and then posting Facebook pictures of yourself tubing at your friend’s lake cabin. That last one is hypothetical by the way.

2) Lying on a resume

As you well know, increasing numbers of employers are checking every single reference a job candidate provides, although EEO regulations make this more difficult to complete in recent years. Many employers, including staffing agencies, require a candidate provide copies of high school, vocational school, and/or college transcripts and diplomas, as well as certifications and licenses when applicable.

Some employers are even running regularly credit checks on workers. Vendors who can perform bulk credit and background checks make this cheaper to accomplish these days.

3) Refusing to follow directions and orders

This is another one in the no brainer and self explanatory categories. Employers are paying a worker to be there, performing certain duties and functions. If the worker is unwilling or unable to perform those functions, there is going to be a problem. And probably a dismissal.

4) Too much personal stuff at work

Companies consider computers, telephones and so forth to be their property, and using, or misusing, company property on a continual basis for your personal stuff is frowned upon. Endless surfing on the web, engaging in social media sites, excessive chit chat with coworkers is also a waste of company time and could get you fired.

Companies consider computers, telephones and so forth to be their property, and using, or misusing, company property on a continual basis for your personal stuff is frowned upon. Endless surfing on the web, engaging in social media sites, excessive chit chat with coworkers is also a waste of company time and could get you fired.

5) Inconsistency

We all have bad days, right? That won’t get you fired. Usually. But if your productivity and moods are swinging all over the place in a pendulum-like fashion, that could put you in another category.  The fireable kind. This is often the kind of thing that can be addressed in a regular performance review. If you are an employer, you should be conducting them regularly. There are too many tools available today not to. No excuses. And if you are an employee, you should be receiving reviews on an annual, or even more frequent basis.

6) Inability to get along with others

Can’t we all just get along?! Seems like an easy enough ask, but as we all know, the workplace environment is not always a perfectly harmonious one. Isn’t it great to be the person about whom others others say, “They get along with everybody.” Conversely, the lack of an ability to play well with others can derail your career and advancement opportunities.

7) Can’t do the work

With more and more people desperate for work these days, by the time someone reaches the actual serious interview stage, it’s quite possible they might not answer honestly to specific questions about their skills and experience. For jobs that require certification and/or licenses, this scenario won’t happen. But for less technical or more general positions, it’s possible an employer – or even the employee – may not know someone’s true ability to perform work until they are actually on the job. If someone is hired and shown they simply can’t do the job, they will likely be let go. It’s like a blind date, the true you will emerge eventually, you may as well be honest from the start. On both sides for that matter.

Too slow to adapt

With more and more generations in the workplace than at any time in our history perhaps, a willingness and ability to adapt to different work styles, communication methods, motivations, etc., is essential for success. No doubt we have all seen situations where change is instituted by a new boss, perhaps a younger or less experienced one, and that change is resisted by long-tenured or more experienced employees. With the pace of change in the workplace today, we all must be highly adaptable and willing to evolve.

9) High absenteeism rate

I have a very diligent, serial entrepreneur friend who when discussing the correlation between persistence and success, often talks about the importance of simply “showing up.” Of course, not showing up for work carries with it consequences, which may include firing. With many employers aggregating vacations, mental health days, sick time, holidays, and other personal days into one category called “Paid Time Off” or something similar, detailed explanations about the reasons for not being at work may not matter as much. But showing up regularly still does.

Be sure and look for a subsequent Staffing Talk post about a woman who got hired, got sick (very sick in fact) and got fired. It’s an interesting case study.

10) Drug and/or alcohol abuse

Obviously drug and alcohol issues can leads to all kinds of problems in the workplace, such as inconsistent work, errors, accidents, poor interpersonal relationships, increased absenteeism, low morale and so on. It’s bad for the company and bad for the worker. When these problems come up, they certainly transcend the workplace, and losing a job may not be the biggest problem.

That’s our list. It’s fairly comprehensive, but we wouldn’t assume it’s complete. Did we make any obvious errors or omissions? Let us know your thoughts and comments, including perhaps a difficult firing decision you have had to face.

Why Temporary Work Is Worth It

Is this a good thing? It certainly can be. As a career transition expert, I view temporary work as a perfect chance for a career switcher to try on different hats, work in various types of businesses, even add new skills and experience.

A temporary, “dip in the pool” assignment lets you get a feel firsthand if this is something you really want to do. I always tell people who ask my advice on changing careers–do the job first-moonlight, apprentice, volunteer. If you can get paid for a temporary gig, go for it. That’s the only way you’ll know if the new career is all you dreamed it would be.

But even if you aren’t thinking of career changing, here are other reasons why a  temporary assignment may be worth it.

  • Gets you out of bed in the morning. You’ve got something to do.
  • Gets you in the door. It may lead to full-time work with an employer eventually. Don’t miss the opportunity.
  • Gets you decent pay. You can make your experience a plus. Employers are typically willing to pay you generously, providing you have the chops, if you solve their problem or need quickly. It lets them bypass the hand-holding and learning curve stage that a younger, less experienced, but lower-paid worker, might require.
  • Builds your professional network. Nurture relationships with co-workers during your assignment. You never know where a contact may lead you, and who they might be able to refer you to for future jobs.
  • Lands you new and au courant references for future employers to contact about what you’ve been up to lately.
  • Keeps your resume alive. It’s a bone to stave off the disgrace of those gaping holes of idleness in your resume.
  • Keeps your skills sharp. You know the mantra: Use it or lose it.
  • Lets  you get psyched about a work project–without the pressure of long-term expectations. No job is forever, anyway. This one just might be shorter than most, and that can be tremendously freeing.

You can’t expect that temporary or contract positions will lead to a full-time or on-going position. I know that. If it is a job or a company that turns you on, though, you can subtly let it be known that you’d love an opportunity to be considered for a full-time position should things change. And, please, don’t take it personally, if it doesn’t. It’s not about you…it’s about them.

Even if it’s just what it claims to be, a temp job, you still win in my experience. First, it might be just the flexible work schedule you’re looking for. Secondly, if it’s a full-time job you really want, it still has your back.

When you’re making money, the truth is you feel better about yourself. You feel valued. It builds confidence. That’s far healthier than shooting out resumes and not getting a single response. And seriously, you never know what might come your way when you back away from the computer screen.

A final tip: Hone your yarn-spinning. Even if the assignment was the pits, and that’s always possible, find a clever to use it in a future job interview. It can be a great example of your work ethic, ability to helicopter in and solve a problem, or fill a professional need for a company. Make the time spent part of your personal career story. Poetic license.

 Kerry Hannon

Kerry Hannon, Contributor For

Legal Alert – New Mandate for New Jersey Employers Effective December 7, 2011


New Mandate for New Jersey Employers Effective December7, 2011

Beginning December 7, 2011 New Jersey employers will be required to provide to all newly hired employees at the time of hiring a copy of the below Appendix.  The appendix must be (1) given at the time of hiring as part of the Hiring Package or (2) delivered via email to the employee.  This notice obligation starts with all new employees hired as of November 7, 2011 going forward.

The following link will take you to the official 6-page notice (MW-400) provided by the New JErsey Department of Labor and Workforce Development to be delivered to newly hired employees:

Note that failure to meet the obligations of this new requirement is “guilty of a disorderly offense and shall, upon conviction, be fined not less than $100 nor more than $1,000.”

This Legal Alert is not legal advice but rather a notification of a new legal requirement for New Jersey employers.  Firms may want to seek the advice and guidance from their own professional advisors on this and other matters as they apply to their own specific circumstances.



NJSA 2011 Employee of The Year








October 31, 2011.  The New Jersey Staffing Alliance Board of Directors is pleased to announce the recipient of its Employee of the Year Award is Joseph Scotland, a temporary staffing employee with Bryant Staffing.

Joseph has been a contract employee in a shipping and receiving department in East Rutherford since 1999.  He travels from his home in Bronx, NY to his position each day with a smile and a positive outlook to everybody.  According to his Bryant placement supervisor, Kathy Chapman, “Joseph exemplifies key messages about temporary employment: he works hard at his job; is flexible in his assignments; and always makes the right choice for Bryant and our Clients.

Also recognized as the 2011 runner-up Employee of the Year is Christopher Bahr of Joule, Inc.  Christopher works in the regulatory and standards affairs department at Stryker Orthopedics in Mahwah, NJ where he ensures consistency, completeness and adherence to all standards for their product submissions.  He has been recognized by his supervisors as polished, professional, dedicated, and above all, supportive of his teammates.  His assignment has been extended three times and each time he has fulfilled his duties in an exemplary fashion.

NJSA congratulates both Joseph and Christopher for their excellent work as examples of professional temporary employees in New Jersey.

 NJSA is a statewide association of staffing companies in New Jersey.  NJSA also conducts industry research and provides valuable traning and educations for staffing professionals in New Jersey.  New Jersey staffing companies employ over 300,000 people for temporary or contract work.  new Jersey temporary staffing firms generated more than $1.9 billion in annual payroll while direct hire staffing firms generated $473 million for a total of $2.37 billion in annual payroll.  Threre are 831 direct hire locations in New Jersey for a total of 1,855 staffing firm offices in New Jersey


Fall and the Flu



Here’s some great advice from O’Meara Financial Group

Fall brings the end of daylight savings time and the beginning of flu season.  What can you do to fight against disease?  Medical professionals say that boosting your immune system – your body’s build-in defense against disease – with good food, plentiful exercise, and sufficient sleep can help, too.

 Katherine Tallmadge, national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, says nutrition profoundly affects our ability to fight disease. If you want to stay healthy this winter, it’s a good idea to eat:

  •  Lean protein, like chicken, fish, and fat-free dairy products, because the molecules that help us stay healthy are made of protein.
  •  Good fat that is found in olive oil, canola oil, and nuts can help your cells function better and fight disease
  •  Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are key players because they contain antioxidants which help us stay healthy.

 Regular exercise also helps boost your immune system and keep illness at bay.  Just don’t overdo it, especially as you get older.  Thirty minutes of light to moderate exercise a day is enough to keep your immune system strong.

  •  Walk anywhere and everywhere.  All you need is a comfortable pair of shoes.
  •  Take a class at the YMCA, a senior center, or a local gym.  Try water aerobics, yoga, Tai Chi – or all of them.
  •  Watch television.  Chances are that your kids or grandkids have a Wii, PlayStation, or Xbox.  Each of these systems offers exercise programs that let you work out at home.

 Studies show that lack of sleep makes us more susceptible to colds and flu viruses. If you don’t sleep like a log every night consider these sleep tips from

  •  Avoid alcoholic beverages
  • Avoid big meals or spicy foods late at night.
  • Have a light snack before bedtime.
  • Use a relaxation technique to prepare for sleep.

 If all else fails, keep the chicken soup handy.  If you fall ill despite your best efforts, remember the chicken soup.  It’s not a wives tale.  According to the Mayo Clinic, chicken soup has anti-inflammatory and mucus-thinning effects which can soothe when you get sick

Characteristics of Successful People

Author Steve Tobak, in his recent BNET article, “5 Characteristics of Successful People”, researched successful people and discovered some universal characteristics that appear in the personal resumes of those he investigated.

Characteristics of Successful People

Fortunately for aspiring and committed managers, all of these proven success characteristics can be learned and integrated into your persona.  These are not magic bullet actions, but behavioral mindsets you can adopt to leap on the fast track to career success.

  • Be opportunistic. Seek out and/or be ready to identify opportunities that could be lucrative and change your life.  Prepare yourself to act decisively when these career opportunities arise.  Be prepared for numerous trial and error experiences.  Adopt an entrepreneurial attitude, even if you work for a mega-corporation.  You will be amazed how significantly your “luck” improves when you are opportunistic.
  • Network tirelessly.Even if you’re not a natural schmoozer or salesperson, you can increase and strengthen your personal network.  Chatting with peers, family, friends, and acquaintances in a friendly and casual manner will help you earn extra consideration when career opportunities appear.  networking, not the “social media” type, is rewarding from both personal and professional perspectives.  For example, job seekers learn of many more real opportunities via their personal networks than any job board they favor.  Similarly, successful professionals receive many more benefits (promotion considerations, referrals, opportunities, etc.) from members of their network than any other single source.
  • Adopt a “can do” attitude and commitment to excel.Develop an overwhelming positive attitude.  Eliminate all thoughts that embrace ” the glass is half empty” thinking.  Use the Law of Attraction or any philosophy that delivers a positive and optimistic mindset.  Combine “can do’ with a “never give up” philosophy and the riches–psychologically and monetarily–will begin to flow your way.  your enthusiasm and positivity alone will attract others to help you succeed and treat you as a superior leader.
  • Be honest and open. Telling people what they want to hear or blowing smoke at employees and supervisors may–emphasize the “may”–result in minor, short-term benefits.  However, long-term success comes to those who are honest and forthright.  There is a simple reason this characteristic works.  Other successful people love this characteristic and will gravitate to you.  These winners can help you join their exclusive circle faster and more effectively than getting “help” from 10 times as many “yes” people.
  • Search for answers and learn how things work.Curiosity may have “killed the cat” (do you understand that cliche?), but successful people are relentlessly inquisitive and are on a tireless mission to learn how things work.  Seeking the answers to important–sometimes, even insignificant–questions is a winning characteristics of all successful people.  The joy is in the  journey, not the destination.  However, reaching the destination, after experiencing the joy of the journey, is also rewqrding and valuable.

Embracing these characteristics, even if they do not come naturally to you, will result in career success.  Like the amazing success stories of others, yours will earn a place at their table.  These are not characteristics of the one, but of the many.

Spend some quiet time thinking about which of these characteristics you currently have and those you may want to acquire.  Be prepared to “fake it till you make it.”  You’ll find that by practicing these attitudes and characteristics, you will soon learn that they have become components of your personal and professional personality.

You will also learn that your success track is accelerating and your career is progressing at a fast pace.  Even if you’re a bit skeptical now, be patient.  You’ll see that these characteristics have proven to work.  If you’re new to the  management fraternity, have faith.  What has worked for Bill Gates, Stve Jobs and many others, will work for you



      Legislation to Avoid $750M UI Payroll Tax Hike Clears Final Legislation Hurdle

      The Senate on June 9 gave final approval to legislation that would prevent employers from getting hit with a $750 million increase in Unemployment Insurance (UI) payroll taxes on July 1.  Lawmakers sent A-3819 to Governor Chris Christie in an effort to avoid this huge tax increase, which would have averaged $300 per employee.

      Under state law, if the UI fund does not have enough money to pay benefits, payroll taxes on employers increase automatically.  The fund has been broke since last March, forcing it to borrow over $1 billion from the federal government.

      The bill also would raise the UI fund reserve ratios to build up a larger fund balance as a cushion against future recessions.  The bill sets the reserve-ratio triggers at FY 2003 levels.  This would permit UI taxes to be reduced as reserves accumulate, and those reserves would be subject to less fluctuation during economic downturns.