Archive for the ‘HR Policies and Procedures’ Category

SSN Protections Act 805

April 1st, 2013

In Michigan the Social Security Number Privacy Act (Act 454 of 2004) was signed into law in December of 2004 as a means of protecting individuals from identity theft. The purpose of this act is to require companies to put protections and limits on access to social security numbers (SSN) obtained in the course of doing business. Since this is a human resource article, I am going to focus on the SSNs that may be obtained through the employment relationship. Many businesses may obtain SSN from clients and/or vendors and therefore apply this law to these other aspects of their business.

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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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