The threat of an employee suing your medical practice is greater than the chance a patient will accuse you of medical malpractice, To protect your practice, create a well-crafted employee handbook.
The first step in doing so is knowing which federal, state and local employment laws apply to your practice, noted a recent post from Healio. While some regulations will vary depending on your practice's size or location, all medical offices must address the following areas within their handbooks:
- The nature of the employer-employee relationship. Your handbook must define whether employees are "at will," meaning either the employee or employer can terminate the relationship at any time without cause.
- The Fair Labor Standards Act, the federal wage/hour law. "Medical practices have been targeted recently by attorneys who file lawsuits based on improper employee classifications on the wage/hour front," according to Healio. Therefore, handbooks must contain clear policies regarding employee classifications, time keeping, payment, rate of overtime pay if applicable, bonus policies, work schedules, breaks, time off and attendance.
- The Fair Credit Reporting Act. Given the access medical office employees have to prescription pads and medications, it's especially important that handbooks spell out policies for employee drug testing and background checks.
- Equal employment opportunity policy. Practices must not only prohibit all forms of discrimination, harassment and retaliation, but they need to also provide employees with a structured process for bringing compliance concerns to management. These policies should also address the practice's compliance with federal/state disability laws applicable to qualified individuals, the post added.
- Rules surrounding social media and computer technology. Practices that don't have policies for employee handling of electronic information will have difficulty defending against wrongful termination actions.
To learn more:
- read the post