Archive for the ‘Sticky Situations’ Category

Summer Lay-Off

April 1st, 2013

Q: I go on a two-week vacation every summer, during which time my staff either uses their own vacation time or, if they have none, are laid off. What considerations should I be aware of, such as unemployment insurance, the WARN act, etc.

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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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Promotion From Within

April 1st, 2013

Q: I have an opening for a Dental Assistant. My receptionist has told me that she wants this job. I am not crazy about moving my receptionist out and training her as a dental assistant. I would be dealing with training a new assistant and a new receptionist. I would rather just hire an experienced assistant. She does a great job at the front desk, my patients love her, the staff love her, I want to keep her where she is. How should I handle this situation? I want to tell my receptionist no, that I want her to stay at receptionist, without her getting upset with me?

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