Dental and Medical Counsel Blog

Employee Discipline: Always Ensure You Have Documented Justification

By Ali Oromchian Esq

When you discover a problem with an employee, the knee-jerk reaction is to remedy the problem quickly, either via disciplinary action or perhaps even termination. But on-the-spot discipline can have its own unintended consequences, including allegations of improper termination. Worse yet, a disciplined or terminated employee could make allegations of discrimination or harassment which could leave your practice tied up in a labor dispute for months or even years.

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Posted on 06/26/2019 at 12:47 PM

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Compliance Investigations: How to Protect Your Practice

By Ali Oromchian Esq

It used to be that the U.S. Department of Labor was so preoccupied with investigating wage and hour complaints that Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) complaints often went ignored. But a newfound dedication to addressing FMLA issues has resulted in a number of companies being investigated for failure to comply with FMLA regulations.

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Posted on 06/19/2019 at 10:44 AM

Case Summary: Gender Discrimination Costs Healthcare Firm $125K

By Ali Oromchian Esq

Today’s lesson on what not to do comes from a case filed against a healthcare firm by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, details for which can be found in the the EEOC's announcement of a settlement against Maryland-based Dimensions Healthcare System. 

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Posted on 06/12/2019 at 12:14 PM

When it Comes to Termination Decisions, Avoid Rationalizing

By Ali Oromchian Esq

Terminations are one of the most difficult parts of being in management. As a result, most business owners and HR directors will do everything possible to try to avoid them. This includes trying to rationalize the employee’s behavior so as to delay, or cancel entirely, the termination decision. Here are some of the most common rationalizations that you, or your managers, may be tempted to use, as well as reasons why this thinking does not benefit your practice:

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Posted on 06/05/2019 at 09:58 AM

Calculating Travel Pay for Your Non-Exempt Employees

By Ali Oromchian Esq

Most employers know that they must pay their employees for hours worked, and that those hours must be paid as overtime for non-exempt employees if those “hours worked” exceed 40 per week. But calculating what, exactly, counts as “hours worked” for traveling employees can be a difficult task. Here are some tips on calculating travel pay for your non-exempt employees:

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Posted on 04/17/2019 at 10:01 AM

How Being Flexible Can Get Your Practice Into Trouble

By Ali Oromchian Esq

One of your employees comes to you in the morning and says that she would like to leave early in order to attend her child's sporting event. She does not wish to use any of her leave time, and so asks whether it would be permissible for her to skip lunch and simply leave early instead. Seems simple enough, right? You consider yourself a good employer, and always want to be flexible when it comes to your employees' requests. You take no issue with this request and tell the employee that she may leave early as long as she works through lunch. But is your flexibility actually putting your practice at risk?

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Posted on 04/10/2019 at 11:30 AM

Social Media and Off-the-Clock Posting

By Ali Oromchian Esq

With social media’s prevalence in our society, many dental practices are left feeling victim to scathing social media postings. Many doctors wonder if they can discipline employees for what they do on their own personal social media accounts?

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Posted on 03/06/2019 at 10:13 AM

Why Fighting an Unemployment Claim Might Not be Worth the Trouble

By Ali Oromchian Esq

When terminating an employee from a dental practice, every employer must be prepared to deal with the potential consequences. Regardless of whether you have documented the cause for termination, every terminated employee may exercise their right to file for unemployment benefits. While a former employee has an absolute right to file for these benefits, that does not necessarily mean that the claim will be an easy win for either party or that you should even oppose it. In fact, in many cases, it is more advantageous to simply forfeit your participation in these disputes. Discussed below are several reasons why fighting unemployment claims might not be worth the trouble.

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Posted on 02/20/2019 at 04:04 PM

How to Make “Reasonable Accommodations” for Your Pregnant Employees

By Ali Oromchian Esq

California labor laws require employers to make “reasonable accommodations” for pregnant employees under current disability leave requirements. But what, exactly, constitutes a sufficient “reasonable accommodation?” Even prior versions of disability laws require employers to make these reasonable accommodations, but the laws did little to explain what “reasonable accommodations” meant for practical purposes. The most recent laws provide more information as to what employers must do in order to meet this standard.

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Posted on 01/09/2019 at 11:29 AM

Disabled Employees and Leaves of Absence

By Ali Oromchian Esq

Both the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) require California employers to make “reasonable accommodations” for their disabled employees. A reasonable accommodation is a job modification or adjustment provided to a qualifying employee with a disability that allows this employee to perform the essential functions of his or her job. The question becomes whether a disabled employee is able to request a leave of absence as part of a “reasonable accommodation.”

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Posted on 12/26/2018 at 08:00 AM

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