The Value of HR Skills For Your Dental Practice
If you’re a dental practice owner, the following real-world headlines might give you some heartburn.
- U.S. Department of Labor investigation results in Tennessee dental practice paying $50,000 in back wages and liquidated damages (US Department of Labor)
- Company to pay $584,000 for firing employees who demanded overtime (Washington Post)
- Court orders dentist to pay $85K to employee fired for safety complaint (OSHA)
- OSHA investigation finds two dental locations failed to protect employees from risks of blood-borne pathogens (OSHA)
- In 2015, the first dentist was fined for a HIPAA violation. The fine of $12,000 was for the alleged mishandling of the protected health information of 5,600 patients. (HIPAA Journal)
Do you or your practice manager have a solid grasp on areas typically handled by HR professionals? If not, you could be putting your organization at significant risk. Does your dental clinic have documented policies and procedures and an employee handbook? If not, this should be a top priority. Someone in your clinic also needs to know how to ensure employees are actually following established policies and procedures. How about regulations governing overtime and employee classification? Are you or your practice manager up to speed on those? Take our quick, 3-question quiz and see how you do– https://members.dentalofficecourses.com/quizzes/hr-skills-regulations-governing-exempt-employee-status/
So, here are the facts. Salaried employees are only exempt from overtime if they meet the federal requirements for classification as an exempt employee. They have to earn at least $913/week and “the employee’s primary duty must be…work directly related to the management or general business operations and… include the exercise of discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance.” (U.S. Dept of Labor) And don’t get too comfortable after you have this information under your belt. These Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) rules are scheduled to be updated every 3 years. The next update will be in 2020.
A small investment in staff training can save you money in the long run by ensuring that your clinic is in compliance with regulations, protected from fines and prosecution. Having a practice manager with HR training is an asset not just in promoting compliance. Equipped with the right skills, she can also elevate the performance of your dental employees, starting with attracting top talent in the hiring process. Then, to retain your best employees, she can work to cultivate a positive organizational culture―another valuable HR skill. She can also implement training programs and an employee evaluation process, based on best practices, to bring out the best in your staff and build their skills.
Our HR Skills for Practice Managers series consists of an introduction followed by eight micro-courses on the most critical HR skills for dental practice managers.