Friday, February 1, 2013
Veteran Tax Credits Extended,
Working an Irregular Shift,
Congratulations to This Month's Winner,
How to Maneuver an Office Romance,
Connect with Orion
Veteran Tax Credits Extended
- Short-term Unemployed: A new credit of 40% of the first $6,000 of wages (up to $2,400) for employers who hire veterans who have been in receipt of unemployment insurance or compensation for at least 4 weeks.
- Long-term Unemployed: A new credit of 40% of the first $14,000 of wages (up to $5,600) for employers who hire veterans who have been in receipt of unemployment insurance or compensation for longer than 6 months.
- Veterans with Services-Connected Disabilities: Maintains the existing Work Opportunity Tax Credit for veterans with service-connected disabilities hired within one year of being discharged from the military. The credit is 40% of the first $12,000 of wages (up to $4,800).
- Long-Term Unemployed Veterans with Services-Connected Disabilities: A new credit of 40% of the first $24,000 of wages (up to $9,600) for firms that hire veterans with service-connected disabilities who have been in receipt of unemployment insurance or compensation for longer than 6 months.
PLEASE NOTE: Orion ICS, LLC, its affiliates and its employees are not in the business of providing tax or legal advice to any taxpayer. This content is for general information purposes only, and is not intended or written to be used without the advice of the taxpayer’s independent tax advisor.
Working an Irregular Shift
For those in the medical or technical field, working irregular hours is the norm. While shift work can have some benefits, such as a higher salary and a less stressful work environment (not to mention zero time stuck in traffic on the daily commute!), it can also wreak havoc on your health – if you let it.
An irregular shift doesn’t have to be seen as a downside to any career. Follow these tips for coping with a shift that doesn’t follow the normal 9-5 work day.
Prepare. Perhaps the hardest thing about working irregular hours is getting enough sleep. Since our bodies operate on a circadian rhythm, meaning you feel awake when the sun is up and start to feel tired after it goes down, it is important to prepare for a good night’s rest to combat this innate rhythm. To “trick” your body to feel tired, power off your cell phone and other electronic devices an hour before bedtime. Studies have shown that the artificial light from cell phones and other electronic devices are the main factor for sleepless nights (or days, as in the case of shift work). Install black out curtains, and transform your bedroom into a room for solely sleeping.
Schedule. Daytime workers usually leave work, run a few errands, and relax at home before going to bed. Just because you work an odd shift doesn’t mean your schedule has to suffer. Try to follow a similar schedule to that of daytime workers within your own routine.
Sleep. It is important that the sleep you get is fulfilling, leaving you waking up feeling refreshed. The average adult should be sleeping between 6-8 hours, but it depends on the individual. More importantly, your body needs to finish sleep cycles in order to feel fully rested.
Family. Make sure your family is aware and respectful of your irregular hours and the importance of getting the sleep that you need.
An irregular shift doesn’t have to be a drag. Be sure to keep getting the right amount of sleep each day, and your body will automatically adjust to becoming a night owl.
Congratulations to This Month's Winner
How to Maneuver an Office Romance
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, love is on everyone’s mind, even in the workplace. While office romances seem more prevalent in movies and TV shows, they are surprisingly common: in a 2011 study conducted by CareerBuilder, 40% of workers admit to have dated a co-worker, and 30% say they have ended up marrying someone they worked with. While romance in the office may not be on your radar, it is important to develop guidelines for you and your potential significant other, should you find yourself in an office romance. Below are some tips on how to maneuver the office romance issue, and help your work environment – and your partner’s – remain a peaceful and safe place to work.
Know your office policies. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the protocols surrounding dating in the office, and understand them completely. If you are unsure about a certain aspect of your company’s policies, ask Human Resources. It is better to know all the ins and outs of the policy than to have just a general knowledge, for your own safety.
Set up “ground rules.” With your company’s Human Resources department, it would be a good idea to set up some guidelines for yourself and your significant other, especially if the relationship turns sour.
Don’t let your job suffer. Remember, you are there to work, not spend time with your loved one. Keep your priorities in check and your personal tasks and work goals as your main focus.
Consider making your relationship private. While you should definitely let Human Resources know, it may be a good idea to keep your relationship private from your co-workers, lest you become to topic of water cooler gossip. This could also help if your relationship doesn’t exactly as planned.
With any office romance, it is best to tread carefully and consider heavily the consequences of becoming involved with a co-worker, but it doesn’t have to be completely avoided.
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