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Office Policies & Manuals

California’s new COVID-19 paid sick leave law expands eligibility for covered employers, employees

New federal and state paid sick leave laws related to COVID-19 that were recently passed affect small businesses, including some dental practices. Here’s what practice owners need to know about national and statewide paid sick leave laws and how they apply to their dental office.

CDA answers dentists’ most commonly asked practice management questions

Practice Support and Risk Management are receiving calls from member dentists concerned about how the pandemic is affecting daily business operations. To ensure all member concerns are addressed, CDA has compiled the most recent, commonly asked questions from member dentists about reducing employee hours and wages, managing delinquent accounts, patient dismissals and more.

Dentists required to comply with new information blocking rule granting patients more access to health records

All health care providers, including dentists, will soon be required to comply with a new federal regulation that aims to enhance a patient’s right to access their health information. Under the new rule, patients will have greater and, at times, immediate access to health information.

Employers encouraged to revise COVID-19 contact tracing protocols to meet new ‘close contact’ guidelines

Practice owners should revise their COVID-19 contact tracing protocols to reflect the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new guidelines on what it means to have been in close contact with an infected person. This could mean analyzing brief interactions between employees and infected colleagues or patients that may have occurred several times a day, instead of one or two prolonged exposures.

Employment separation in the dental practice: How to prepare

Every employee’s employment life cycle ends eventually, whether due to resignation, retirement, termination or other reason. In the dental office, any employee who separates should do so in a structured and professional manner with minimum disruption to the patients, staff and practice. Still, depending on what triggers an employee’s departure, separation can be an awkward situation for employers to navigate. Such discomfort can be lessened if clear policies and practices are in place.

HR audits help practices comply with laws, but can also offer peace of mind

Start your new year on the right foot by auditing your human resources systems and records. To diminish the possibility of legal issues and to ensure that your practice seeks to comply with labor and employment laws, it is important to perform an HR audit. An audit can include timekeeping and wage statements and all of the following.

Members can now create a customized employee manual - online

CDA members have long been able to use the Sample Employee Manual template, available through CDA Practice Support, to build a customized employee manual. Now, they can also go online to generate one of the most essential HR tools for every practice — a manual that both informs employees about workplace rules and helps to protect dentists from potential lawsuits.

New state law prohibits discrimination based on natural hairstyle

A new state law prohibits discrimination on the basis of hair textures or protective hairstyles that are historically associated with race. Senate Bill 188, also known as the CROWN Act, was signed in July by Gov. Gavin Newsom and will take effect Jan. 1, 2020. California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act was amended by the law to include in the definition of race “traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles.”

The alternative workweek: How to adopt and follow one in the dental office

Employers often struggle to balance the need for expanded practice hours to accommodate patient schedules and the costs associated with nonexempt employee overtime. In California, employers have the option to greatly reduce overtime costs by adopting an alternative workweek schedule. What exactly is an alternative workweek schedule, and is it good news for employees and employers?

What practice owners should know about unemployment eligibility for employees who don’t comply with COVID-19 vaccine, testing mandates

Conflicting views over mandatory vaccine policies could potentially lead to an employee quitting or getting fired and subsequently filing for unemployment. But whether an employee is still entitled to unemployment benefits if they quit or get fired for not complying with the public order varies on a case-by-case basis. 

When smartphones, side gigs and odors disrupt the office

With so much emphasis on the need for employers to establish written policies mandated by federal, state and local laws, it’s easy to overlook the important day-to-day employee management policies on everything from hygiene and smoking to use of personal electronic devices. Discussed below are four areas of employee conduct and attire expectations that you might consider addressing through a workplace policy, if you don’t already have one in place.