Archive for the ‘Discipline and Termination’ Category

Return From Disability

April 1st, 2013

Q: My receptionist was involved in a serious accident which resulted in a closed head injury. She has been off work for six weeks and is now telling me she is ready to return. I have held the job open all this time, however, she has not been paid while on disability and I think she is rushing her return for financial reasons. I am concerned about her cognitive ability to do the job. I don’t know that much about closed head injuries, but what I do know, causes me concerns. My questions are: Do I have to bring her back? Can I find out what her cognitive ability is before I bring her back? And if I bring her back, and she cannot do the job, what do I do with her?

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Retaliation

April 1st, 2013

Q: I have just received notification from the Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) that they are investigating a claim of retaliation filed by one of my employees. About three months ago, this employee (a hygienist) told me that a patient had repeatedly made inappropriate comments and tried to touch her. I took immediate action, investigated, found that he had in fact made the comments, and then removed him as patient of record. I notified the employee of the action I took. Then, at a staff meeting, I told everyone that if anything occurred with any other patient that they were to report it immediately and that I did not tolerate this behavior. I thought the issue was done.

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Reference Checks, What to say?

April 1st, 2013

Q: Unfortunately, I had to terminate my office manager not too long ago. She had many performance problems that were documented in her file. Recently, I received a call asking for references on her. I did not know what to say. I would like her to get a job, yet her performance was not good and I would feel like I was lying if I said otherwise. I also did not want her to come back to me and accuse me of anything. What should I do?

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Progressive Illness

April 1st, 2013

Q: I am a partner in a large practice with nine dentists and 48 staff. A long term dental assistant has a progressive illness that is starting to impact her ability to do her job. She is often absent, has difficulty performing the work, struggles with handling the instruments and even has difficulty walking. I am concerned for her safety. I am also concerned with the quality of service she is providing our patients. She is doing the job but just barely. What should I do? Can we terminate her? This is truly heartbreaking.

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One-up-man-ship is undermining my office

April 1st, 2013

Q. I have a long time employee who has a habit of trying to make her co-workers look bad and thus making her appear indispensable. My other staff resent her “one-up-man-ship.” She does a good job and I don’t want to lose her, but I cannot allow her to continue this behavior. What can I do to get her to stop this behavior?

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