Archive for the ‘Employee Relations’ Category

Standards of Professionalism

April 1st, 2013

Q. I would like my employees to represent my practice in a professional manner. My efforts have run into a snag related to how my employees speak to patients and to each other. I have one employee who uses slang and poor grammar. I have other employees who discuss their personal life in front of patients. I want my employees to be aware the impact their comments have on the reputation of my practice. What can I do?

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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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Replace or Retain

April 1st, 2013

Q. My hygienist just informed me that due to a medical problem, her physician has advised she not work for 6 to 8 weeks. She is my only hygienist and I cannot be without one for that long. Do I have to keep her position open? Although she meets performance expectations, her work is not extraordinary. I would like to advise her that I will not hold her position open for that long and start the process of hiring a new hygienist. Can I do this?

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Religious Accomodation

April 1st, 2013

Q: I have a new hygienist who has advised me that she is a Muslim and has requested that I provide her time twice a day to pray. She has also started wearing a head scarf. These requests did not come up in the interview. I am not crazy about the headscarf and I don’t see why I should have to adjust her schedule to let her pray. Can I require her to stop wearing the head scarf; I think it makes my patients uncomfortable? Do I have to allow her time to pray, we run a tight schedule and I don’t think it is fair to allow her this time when I do not allow others?

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