Dental and Medical Counsel Blog

ADA Ruling Against Hospital: High Cost Does Not Qualify As “Undue Hardship”

By Ali Oromchian Esq

In this 2017 case study, Johns Hopkins Hospital had been issued a tough blow: In Searls v. Johns Hopkins Hospital, a deaf nurse accepted a job offer from the hospital, and then informed them that she would need an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter in order to perform her job functions. Johns Hopkins rescinded the offer, stating that there was no room within the department’s budget to make such an accommodation. Therefore, the hospital reasoned, they were under no obligation to provide the interpreter because the cost for the interpreter constituted an “undue hardship” and therefore was not required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The nurse filed a discrimination suit, and the court found against Johns...

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Posted on 12/04/2019 at 09:38 AM

6 Tips on What to Do Upon Receiving a Demand Letter

By Ali Oromchian Esq

Have you ever received a letter from a dental insurance company, dental board or a disgruntled employee asking for something or asking you to respond? Did you know what to do? These letters can be intimidating and can create fear of litigation.

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Posted on 11/20/2019 at 10:47 AM

California Assembly Bill 5 Reverses the “ABC” Test (Sorta!)

By Ali Oromchian Esq

On September 18, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 5, essentially classifying all workers as employees instead of contractors.

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Posted on 09/19/2019 at 04:03 PM

Case Shows ADA Noncompliance Can Cost You

By Ali Oromchian Esq

As every good employer knows, the Americans with Disabilities Act prevents companies from discriminating against employees and applicants based upon their disabilities. But as a case demonstrates, repeated and/or company-wide failures to follow the ADA’s guidelines, including those which were part of the ADA Amendments Act passed a few years ago, can cost employers big money.

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Posted on 09/04/2019 at 10:58 AM

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

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