Below you will find an example of a general office policy for a medical practice, including Dentists, Veterinarians and Optometrists. Feel free to copy and adapt this to your office. It is an example of what our 400 page Office Policy and Job Description Manual contains.
This example policy is intended to be a guideline only and has been provided for general advice and education only. It may or may not conform to all laws (federal, state, and local), rules, and regulations. It is not a substitute for proper legal or other professional or regulatory advice. You can adjust this sample office policy to conform to federal, state, and local laws. Before and after adjusting this, you should seek the counsel of a qualified attorney licensed within the proper jurisdiction to ensure compliance with all pertaining laws.
GENERAL OFFICE POLICIES
Welcome to our practice!
The following policies are designed to provide working guidelines for all of us.
Written office policies help to:
- prevent misunderstanding and lack of communication;
- eliminate hasty, unrefined decisions in personnel matters; and
- assure uniformity and fairness throughout the practice.
Our practice is open to change. Changes happen as a result of internal growth, legal requirements, competitive forces or general economic conditions that affect our profession.
To meet these challenges, the practice reserves the rights, with or without notice, to change, add to or delete any of the policies, terms, conditions and language presented in this manual. Changes in personnel policies are made after considering the mutual advantages and responsibilities of both doctor and staff. So, all of us need to stay aware of current policy, and as revisions are made, new pages will be given to the staff to place in their manuals.
Remember that your suggestions are welcome. Just notify the office manager whenever problems are encountered, and wherever you think improvements can be made.
DISTRIBUTION OF POLICY
The Master Office Policy Manual is the property of the practice. The Master Manual is kept in an appointed place in the office. All employees will be given a copy of all policies for their personal use.
The practice is committed to providing a work environment free of discrimination. This policy prohibits harassment in any form, including verbal, physical and sexual harassment. Any employee who believes that he or she has been harassed by a co-worker, manager or agent of the practice is to immediately report any such incident to the office manager or next higher authority. We will investigate and take appropriate action.
All written, oral or informal requests for information about employees or former employees are referred immediately to the manager/administrator. By establishing this policy for all reference requests, we ensure that any and all information we release is accurate, authorized and representative of the practice’s position.
BONDING OF EMPLOYEES
Precautionary measures are sometimes taken to ensure adequate protection of property, personnel, assets, etc. We may opt to bond certain employees with specific or sensitive responsibilities within the office.
TERMS OF AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT
The “terms of at-will employment agreement” is not to be considered as creating a contractual relationship between the employee and the employer. Therefore, unless otherwise defined in writing, such relationship shall be defined as “employment at will,” where either party is free at any time to dissolve the relationship. The terms of at-will employment agreement addresses such items as compensation, wage and salary reviews, employee classification and position and responsibilities.
ORIENTATION AND TRAINING
An Orientation and Training Program is conducted for all new employees. We’ll introduce you to our office policies and help you adjust to our practice. If at any time you have a question, just ask; we’re here to help. As required, you may be asked to attend continuing education classes to hone your skills.
During the initial Orientation and Training Period, you have the opportunity to demonstrate your attitudes and abilities and decide if your philosophy and goals are compatible with those of the practice. You may leave of your own volition or be dismissed without notice during this time. You will not accumulate seniority nor be eligible for benefits. Upon satisfactory completion of the Orientation and Training Period, you are:
- considered potentially qualified,
- reclassified as a regular or temporary employee,
- given seniority retroactive to starting date, and
- enrolled in the office benefit plan (if applicable).
NEW EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE REVIEW
New employees will receive one written evaluation of their job performance during the first 90 days of employment. The office manager and the doctor conduct the review. This gives both of us a chance to determine where improvement or assistance and training is needed.
Our practice classifies employees according to specific terms and definitions. The employee classifications are:
- New Employees:
- Staff that are employed for less than 90 calendar days (the Orientation and Training Period). The orientation period may be extended for another 90 days at the discretion of the doctor. Former employees that are rehired after more than 12 months after leaving the practice would fall into this classification.
- Regular Full-Time Employees:
- Staff who regularly work 32–40 hours in a given work week. Under special conditions (illness, etc.) a full-time regular employee may work less than the normal work week for up to three months without losing regular full-time staff member status. With mutual consent between doctor and staff member, this time may be extended.
- Regular Part-Time Employees:
- Staff members who work less than the customary number of full-time hours weekly for a continuous period of 90 days.
- Temporary Full-Time Employees:
- Staff members whose service is intended to be of limited duration and who work the customary weekly hours of a regular full-time employee for a period of less than 90 days. With mutual consent between doctor and staff member, this period may be extended up to a period of six months, after which time full-time status is conferred.
- Temporary Part-Time Employees:
- Employees who work less than the customary number of full-time hours a week on an indefinite irregular work schedule. If you work a regular part-time schedule for more than 90 days, you receive regular part-time status. With mutual consent, temporary employee status may be extended to 120 days.
- Exempt Employees:
- Staff members who are exempt from the minimum wage and time card overtime provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act (Wages and Hours Bill) as amended. Such employees include staff members who qualify as exempt executive, administrative or professional employees or as outside sales persons.
- Non-Exempt Employees:
- Staff members who are not exempt from the minimum wage, overtime and timecard provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (Wages and Hours Bill) as amended.
PROBLEMS AND CONCERNS: RESOLUTION PROCEDURE
Our practice endeavors to satisfy concerns and resolve problems, whatever they may be. They could be working conditions, policies, alleged discrimination or anything else that threatens a productive work environment. Our resolution procedure works like this:
- The employee brings the problem to the office manager (or immediate supervisor) within 10 days of the occurrence. The office manager will attempt to mitigate the situation.
- If the employee is not satisfied, the employee takes the problem in writing within the ensuing five days to the employer, who will investigate the circumstances and subsequently return a decision to the employee within five more days.
- The employer’s decision on a given issue is not intended to set precedent nor bind future decisions, unless so stated as office policy.
YOUR WORK SCHEDULE
You’ll find your work days and hours on the posted schedule. Be sure to check the schedule on a regular basis. Occasionally, office requirements may make it necessary for employees to work beyond scheduled work hours.
KEEPING TRACK OF YOUR TIME
All staff members are responsible, individually, for recording their time on the attendance sheet and/or card when:
- reporting for work,
- leaving for lunch,
- returning from lunch, and
- leaving at the end of the day.
An attendance sheet and/or card is a legal document and must not be destroyed, defaced or removed from the premises. Never allow another employee to enter your time for you. Likewise, do not register another staff member’s time even if asked to do so.
Overtime must be authorized in advance or as soon thereafter as possible. Overtime, changes or omissions on the attendance card must be authorized and initialed.
Vacation time, sick time, holidays or any time that you expect to be paid for must be entered on the time card.
Record any time spent receiving medical treatment as personal time off, not as hours worked. Be sure to check in and out on your attendance card.
When you leave the premises, let us know. If you have to go out of the office or the building on personal business during your scheduled hours, first, get permission. Then, check in and out on your attendance record.
COMPENSATORY TIME OFF
Non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay whenever they perform overtime work. Employees may not take time off in lieu of receiving overtime pay. Please don’t ask to make up time missed if it will result in overtime. Any time off during normally scheduled work hours will be without pay.
EXCHANGING HOURS WITH ANOTHER EMPLOYEE
Staff members may exchange hours with another employee, providing they have prior authorization and that the exchange involves no overtime for either employee.
HOURS OF EMPLOYMENT
“TIME WORKED” – WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
All elapsed time, from the moment you actually begin your duties until the end of the work day (except for time spent at lunch or dinner), is time worked. Arriving early, leaving late, or preliminary time spent in grooming, changing clothes or attending to personal matters, none of these activities is considered time worked.
REST, RELAXATION AND NUTRITION
- Lunch Break:
- Each staff member gets an unpaid lunch break near the middle of the work day, unless the work day is five hours or less. Like a lot of rules, this one has exceptions.You can voluntarily waive the right to a lunch break, provided you work no more than six hours in a workday.
If your workday is more than six hours, you’ll receive a paid working meal period if the nature of the work makes it impossible for you to be released for a lunch.
- You get a paid 10-minute rest break at approximately the middle of every four hours of work not broken by a meal period. However, we ask that you take a break at a time when it will not negatively affect patient/client care. Breaks are considered part of the regular work period and (for insurance purposes) staff are not to leave the premises without permission.
WHEN THE DOCTOR IS AWAY
When the doctor is out of the office and when normal office hours are maintained, office coverage must be assured. You may, with approval, choose to:
- work in the office;
- take time off without pay; or
- take time off and be charged with earned vacation, unused holidays, or time off that was earned but not used.
To ensure that our patient/clients receive proper treatment, we must have adequate staff to handle the workload. Therefore, absences of short-term duration, disabilities of relatively long duration and tardiness are unacceptable and constitute an unsatisfactory work record.
If you are unable to report to work, you must notify the doctor as soon as you are aware of the situation. Please do this at least one hour before the beginning of the work day, so we can arrange for substitute staff.
All staff members are expected to be ready to begin duties on schedule. Arriving late or leaving early for the work day, breaks or meal periods are considered unprofessional conduct and could result in disciplinary action, including discharge. We recognize that even the most dedicated employee can have a dead battery once in a while! In the event that you will be more than 15 minutes late to work, please call and tell us when you expect to arrive. No pay will be given for time not worked.
PERSONAL TIME OFF
An employee must obtain approval from the office manager before leaving the office for personal reasons.
If you are absent from work for two days and fail to contact your employer, you may be released for job abandonment.
WAGES AND SALARIES
This practice maintains a salary administration program which:
- provides for payment of salaries comparable to those paid for similar positions and services in the community;
- allows for differences in individual ability, knowledge and skill; and
- provides incentive to encourage each individual to strive for improved performance.
Your wages will be reviewed at least once a year. Pay raises are based on performance, increased experience, profitability and individual contributions to the general welfare of the practice.
Wages are based upon an hourly rate, a daily rate, or a monthly salary and paid according to the posted “Payday Notice.”
In the event a payday falls on a Saturday, Sunday or holiday, you will get your paycheck on the following workday.
State and federal payroll taxes will be withheld from your paycheck in accordance with the law. These deductions include state and federal income tax and social security tax (FICA). In addition and with your written request, we will make deductions for any contribution you select for deductions such as U.S. Savings Bonds or similar funds.
New employees must fill out a Withholding Exemption Certificate (Form W-4) on or before the day they begin work. If an employee fails to fill out Form W-4, the employer is required to withhold the maximum amount of tax. A Form W-4 remains in effect until a new, amended form is submitted.
- Change in Status:
- An employee must file an amended Form W-4 reducing the number of exemptions within 10 days after:
- The spouse for whom the employee had been claiming an exemption is divorced or legally separated or claims his/her own exemption on a separate certificate.
- The support of a dependent for whom the employee claimed exemptions is taken over by someone else or no longer furnishes more than half the support for the year.
- The employee finds the income of a dependent relative is less than the legally allowable amount for the year, and the employee had not previously claimed an exemption for the dependent.
- The employee or his/her spouse will reach age 65 on or before January 1 of the next year.
- The employee or his/her spouse becomes blind.
- The employer is required to submit the W-4 Form to the Internal Revenue Service for review if the employee:
- is claiming 10 or more exemptions,
- is claiming total exemption from withholding and earns more than $200.00 per week, or
- the employer believes an employee has claimed an excessive number of dependents.
WAGE AND TAX STATEMENT FORM W-2
Each employee will receive two copies of Form W-2 showing income taxes and social security taxes withheld for the year by January 31 of the following year. If, however, an employee requests a form before the January 31 deadline, it will be given within 30 days of the request or within 30 days of the final payment of wages, whichever comes later.
ADVANCE PAYMENT OF WAGES
We do not pay wages or salaries in advance. There are no exceptions unless it is for an extreme emergency. The amount to be advanced will not exceed one week’s wages.
Emergency pay advances are always considered early payments of wages for future work performed and are not to be considered a loan made to the employee from the employer. Before an advance can be granted, the employee must sign an agreement indicating the amount to be advanced, the reason for the request and the payback schedule. Advances that have not been repaid earlier will be considered part of an employee’s final wages upon separation from employment.
Staff members are responsible for their paychecks after they have been received. Checks lost or otherwise missing should be reported immediately, so we can initiate the stop-payment process.
If you are unable to complete your workday because of an on-the-job accident, you still will be paid for your total scheduled hours for that day.
Overtime premium pay is paid according to the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act and the State Wage, Hours and Child Labor laws.
- Exempt Employees:
- Employees that are exempt from the minimum wage and time card overtime provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act (Wage/Hour Law) do not receive overtime pay.
- Non-Exempt Employees:
- Employees not exempt from minimum wage, overtime and time card provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act do receive overtime pay.Any overtime worked must be authorized in advance by the doctor or as soon thereafter as possible.
Time not worked but paid for, such as vacation, holidays and sick leave, will not rate or count for overtime calculation purposes.
CONTINUING EDUCATION – PAID
Keeping up-to-date professionally is a benefit all the way around – for you, the practice, and of course, the patient/clients. Your attendance at meetings, lectures and training programs will be counted as hours worked, and wages will be paid when such sessions are conducted during your normal work schedule.
Attendance will not be counted as hours worked when:
- A staff member voluntarily attends such programs after work hours even though they may be job-related.
- The program is not directly related to the employee’s job and is attended outside of normal working hours.
All staff members eligible for holiday pay will receive an amount equivalent to the straight-time pay for their normally scheduled number of hours if the holiday occurs on a regular working day.
JURY DUTY – NOT PAID
Should you be called to serve on jury duty or as a witness, please tell us right away.
Staff members called for jury duty will be given a Leave of Absence. Wages will not be paid while on jury duty. If you are released from jury duty before the end of the workday, you are expected to return to work for the balance of the day.
REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES
Staff members will be reimbursed for certain expenses, such as gas and mileage when using their own vehicles for office business. Expenses must be authorized in advance, and an itemized claim must be submitted for payment.
The employer or the insurance carrier may not be liable for the payment of any workers’ compensation benefits for any injury that arises out of an employee’s voluntary participation in any off-duty recreational, social or athletic activity that is not part of the employee’s work related duties.
If your employment is terminated, you may be eligible to receive unemployment insurance. The insurance provides financial assistance to employees who become unemployed through no fault of their own. On the other hand, when the employee is at fault, as when the employee resigns voluntarily or is being discharged for unprofessional conduct, unemployment eligibility is lost. To receive unemployment benefits, a claim must be filed at the local office that administers the state’s unemployment insurance law.
As an employee of the practice, you are covered under the Federal Social Security Law (FICA). If any employee’s earnings stop because of death, disability or retirement, then the employee and his or her family may be eligible for partial placement of earnings. Social Security ensures basic benefits for survivors, and burial allowance. The amount deducted from your paycheck for Social Security Taxes is matched by the practice.
Sick leave is intended to protect staff against undue financial loss in the event of an illness of one or a few days’ duration. Sick leave may not be used for absences other than a personal illness. Personal emergencies may qualify for sick leave if approved by management.
Upon completion of the Orientation and Training Period, regular full-time and specified regular part-time staff members earn time off for sick leave for each month worked. Regular full-time staff members earn six days of paid sick leave within a consecutive 12-month period. Eligible regular part-time staff members receive sick time relative to the number of hours worked by regular full-time staff.
Sick pay benefits will be paid for the times that you would normally be scheduled to work. To be eligible for sick leave benefits, you must contact the office the day before or no later than one hour prior to the scheduled work shift if you are unable to report to work. Failure to give advance notice may void the claim for benefits. During absence because of sickness, keep in touch with the office and let us know your progress on a daily basis.
STAYING HEALTHY PAYS OFF IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE
Any unused sick leave will be paid at the regular hourly rate at the end of the calendar year, at the employer’s discretion. The number of hours in a day for sick leave calculation purposes are equal to the hours worked in a regular workday.
If you are unable to return to work even though your accrued sick pay eligibility has expired, you must request a leave of absence for extended illness. Accumulated sick leave will be paid upon termination. Let us know in advance when you plan to return to work after an illness, so we can adjust the schedule.
Regular full-time staff and specified regular part-time staff get an annual paid vacation. The length of your vacation is based on the length of your continuous service with the office.
Length of Continuous Service Vacation Benefit
- Less than 90 days, you will not have any vacation days.
- After one year, you will receive five vacation days.
- After two years, you will receive ten vacation days.
Vacation pay for full and specified part-time staff members is at the regular pay rate.
Vacation benefits accrue on a monthly basis. However, since vacation time is earned in 12-month increments, staff members are not eligible to take vacation time off for time worked in less than a 12-month period.
New employees begin to earn vacation pay at the end of the Orientation and Training Period. Upon completion of this phase, eligible new employees will receive vacation benefits retroactive to the date of employment. If employment is terminated for any reason after completing the Orientation and Training Period, the employee is entitled to payment of prorated vacation benefits earned and accrued, retroactive to the date of employment.
Staff members may be required to take their vacation while the doctor is on vacation. If the entire staff goes on vacation when the doctor does, staff members not eligible for vacation benefits may be required to cover the office during the vacation period. All vacations will be approved at the convenience of the office so that continuous patient/client care is assured. Conflicting requests will be decided in favor of the person with the most seniority. Any earned and unused vacation time must be taken prior to the beginning of a leave of absence. No vacation time is earned while on a leave of absence.
If a paid holiday falls on your scheduled vacation period, you will be given an additional day off with pay or paid for the day at regular wages. No allowance will be made for sickness or other type of absence occurring during the vacation, unless the staff member is hospitalized.
Staff members are required to take their earned vacation time in the year after which it has been earned. If there are extenuating circumstances (for example, when the absence may severely affect office operations during a critical period), you may be requested to carry all or part of your vacation forward to the next year. Unused vacation time will be paid for at the end of the year unless carried over with special permission. Failure to return from vacation on the scheduled date is considered job abandonment and treated as a voluntary termination.
VACATION PAYMENT UPON TERMINATION
Employees who terminate their employment either voluntarily or involuntarily will receive payment of any unused vacation benefits, prorated on a monthly and daily basis, at the time they separate from the practice. Vacation pay will be paid to staff who are retired for reasons of age or disability or to the estate of a deceased employee.
Since no vacation time is earned during the Orientation and Training Period, no vacation benefits will be paid to an employee who quits or is terminated during the Orientation and Training Period.
Any employee with two or more continuous years of service is eligible to participate in the company retirement plan. Ask management for details.
Regular full-time staff members will receive holiday pay equivalent to the straight time pay received if the holiday falls on a regular working day.
New employees do not receive holiday benefits until they complete the Orientation and Training Period.
To be eligible for holiday pay, the staff member must be at work (or on an excused absence) the day immediately before the holiday and the day immediately after unless approved by management.
Paid Holidays Are as Follows:
- New Year’s Day, January 1
- Memorial Day, the Last Monday in May
- Independence Day, July 4
- Labor Day, the First Monday in September
- Thanksgiving Day, the Fourth Thursday in November
- The Day after Thanksgiving, the Fourth Friday in November
- Christmas Day, December 25
- Holiday Pay for a Staff Member on a Leave of Absence:
- Holidays that occur during a leave of absence are unpaid.
- Holidays on a Regular Scheduled Day Off:
- If a national holiday falls on a weekend, the office may close the day before or the day after the holiday. If the office is open the day preceding or following the holiday, staff members get another day off or their regular pay for the “lost” holiday. The day off is scheduled at the convenience of the office.
- Holidays During Vacation:
- When a designated holiday occurs during an eligible staff member’s scheduled paid vacation period, the individual will receive an extra day off. (The date will be approved or paid at the regular rate for the day.)
HOLIDAY PAY UPON TERMINATION
Staff members who terminate employment will receive compensation for any earned but unused holidays.
LEAVE OF ABSENCE
A leave of absence is granted by the employer and is defined as an excused absence without pay. The employee’s benefits may be discontinued during this time.
A leave of absence creates inequities since not all staff members can be granted a comparable privilege. Such leaves are discouraged and restricted to the following types of absence:
- When an extended absence is anticipated, submit a doctor’s statement showing diagnosis of illness or injury, prognosis and expected date of return to work.Before returning to work, the staff member needs a statement from a physician declaring the employee is ready to resume work and stating whether there are any restrictions to job duties.
Accrued sick leave benefits are to be used before the leave of absence begins.
- Serious Illness or Death in the Family:
- Circumstances of an emergency nature that compel absence from work.
- Personal Business:
- Circumstances of an exceptional personal nature not involving employment elsewhere.
- Extended Vacation:
- Any earned and unused vacation time must be taken prior to the beginning of the leave of absence. Vacation time is earned in 12-month increments, and no vacation time is earned for time worked less than 12 full months.The following are all taken as “leave of absence” and are not paid:
- Jury duty
- Funeral leave
- Military leave, etc.
- A leave of absence without pay may be granted for a period of up to two weeks.
- New Child Care:
- Your written request for a leave of absence must be submitted as far in advance as possible, specifying the reason for the leave.A staff member does not accrue seniority while on an unpaid leave of absence. Dates for benefits eligibility and salary review will be postponed accordingly.
If the leave of absence is not subject to government regulation, the doctor does not guarantee that the staff member will be reinstated. Reinstatement is solely at the doctor’s discretion.
Staff members who fail to return to work on the scheduled work day will be presumed to have resigned employment voluntarily.
REINSTATEMENT OF WORK
We comply with federal and state laws regarding reinstatement for employees who must take a leave of absence for military duty, maternity leave or job-related health conditions, or other legislative reinstatement requirements.
An employee may be rehired to work the following priority of position assignment:
- prior position,
- equivalent position for which qualified, or
- lesser position for which qualified.
- Involuntary Termination:
- When no position is available, the employee will be considered as having resigned involuntarily.
- Voluntary Termination:
- A staff member on a leave of absence may be dismissed if the individual has accepted outside employment during the leave or has misrepresented the reason for the leave.
- Unauthorized Leave:
- When a staff member requests time off that is denied and takes it off anyway, the absence is considered job abandonment and treated as a voluntary termination.
A maternity leave of absence will be granted for a period of six weeks from the beginning date of the leave. A maternity leave may be combined with a pregnancy disability leave to a maximum of four months.
A request for a maternity leave and pregnancy disability leave must be accompanied by a statement from the physician indicating the reason for the disability and the anticipated date of return to work. An extended leave of absence beyond the four months will be considered a request for a regular leave of absence.
Wages and benefits are discontinued during the leave of absence. Any earned sick leave and unused vacation time must be taken prior to the beginning of the leave of absence.
A staff member who accepts employment elsewhere while on maternity leave will be terminated without notice as of the last date of employment. No seniority is accrued while on an unpaid leave of absence. Benefit eligibility dates and salary review dates are postponed accordingly.
- Reporting the Pregnancy:
- Notify your employer as soon as your physician confirms the pregnancy. Your physician must indicate approval of your continuing employment and fully explain any work restrictions. The physician also must provide a reasonable estimate of the latest date you will be allowed to work. You may continue working so long as your physician says that doing so would not endanger your health.
- Maternity Leave for Adoption:
- Maternity leave includes situations “where the family unit is increased by adoption rather than natural birth,” so the mother can be at home with the child during the initial period of adjustment.
- Returning from Maternity Leave:
- Before delivery, let us know when you expect to return to work. Every effort will be made to place you in your previous position. You will need a medical release from your physician stating that you are physically able to return to your normal duties. A staff member who fails to return to work upon expiration of her maternity leave will be terminated without notice as of the last date of employment.
Staff members bereaved by the death of a family member will be granted time off from work without loss of pay according to the following provisions:
When a death occurs in the immediate family, the staff member will be compensated for the wages actually lost from the day of the death, up to and including the day of the funeral, not to exceed a total of two work days. Immediate family includes father, mother, sister, brother, wife, husband, son, daughter, father-in-law or mother-in-law.
- All regular full-time employees are covered by the policy. New employees with less than 90 calendar days of employment are eligible for the above absences without pay.The time off must be approved. Time paid for funeral leave will not be counted as hours worked for the purpose computing overtime. Funeral leave pay will not be paid in addition to any other allowable pay for the same day, such as holiday pay, paid sick leave, paid vacation, etc.
YOUR CONTINUING EDUCATION
We firmly believe educational development is important to the practice. We encourage all staff to take courses or training to increase their competence in the present job assignment and to prepare for future advancement. We will pay the expenses for mutually agreed upon courses. In some cases, the expenses may be shared upon mutual agreement between the doctor and staff. Some expenses to be considered are:
To be reimbursed for expenses, submit within 30 days of the course completion date:
- evidence that you have completed the course,
- a verified statement of tuition paid and other costs,
- a detailed outline of information covered in the course, and
- recommendations for items you would like to see implemented in the practice.
Staff members receive regular pay for courses attended on normal working days, as agreed upon in advance.
Staff members are paid for courses they are required to attend outside their regular work schedule.
In the event that the staff member fails to attend a training course, and prepaid fees are lost because of this, the individual will reimburse the employer through payroll deductions. Please give us at least two weeks’ notice of the courses that you plan to attend, so we can arrange for substitute personnel.
Technically certified office staff are responsible for maintaining valid licensing by attending the necessary number of continuing education courses required for recertification. Staff members are required to attend such courses during non-scheduled hours and will receive no pay during such attendance.
The employer assumes no responsibility for staff members who become delinquent in the number of units needed for re-certification and who, as a result, lose their license.
Employees are covered by workers’ compensation insurance for work-related injuries or occupational diseases. This insurance is paid by your employer.
- Workers’ compensation benefits provide medical, surgical and hospital treatment, in addition to payment for loss of earnings that result from work-related injuries. Benefits include cash benefits for both impairment and disability. Disability payments cover certain physical problems, while impairment benefits cover disability and loss of wages.
- Medical Benefits:
- This is usually provided without dollar/time limits.
- Rehabilitation Benefits:
- Both medical rehabilitation and vocational training for cases involving severe disabilities.
If you are injured while working, notify the doctor immediately, regardless of how minor the injury may be. Failure to report an accident can result in a violation of legal requirements and can lead to difficulties in processing benefit and insurance claims.
All injuries involving time loss must be reported to the Division of Labor Statistics and Research. Serious injuries, illnesses, or deaths must be reported to the Division of Industrial Safety. Injury reports will be filed by the employer with the insurance carrier within five days after the injury occurs. Check the posted information for the name of the insurance carrier and the expiration date of the present insurance coverage.
- Disclaimer Notice:
- The employer or the insurance carrier may not be liable for the payment of any workers’ compensation benefits for any injury, which arises out of an employee’s voluntary participation in any off-duty recreational, social or athletic activity, which is not part of the employee’s work-related duty.
If your employment is terminated, you may be eligible to receive unemployment insurance. The insurance provides financial assistance to employees who become unemployed through no fault of their own.
On the other hand, when the employee is at fault, such as resigning voluntarily or is being discharged for unprofessional conduct, unemployment eligibility is lost. To receive unemployment benefits, a claim must be filed at the local office that administers the state’s unemployment insurance law.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
Our goal is to provide a completely safe workplace. Everyone is responsible for safety. If you see an unsafe or hazardous condition, report it immediately. To avoid injuries, here are some important precautionary measures.
When Faced with an Emergency:
- Stay composed.
- Walk briskly, if necessary.
- Do not run!
- When lifting:
- Bend your knees.
- Keep your back straight.
- Lift with your legs.
- Store materials and equipment safely and neatly; avoid clutter that might cause accidents.
- Report equipment defects immediately.
- Repairs are to be made by authorized maintenance personnel. Do not operate defective equipment.
- Do not climb on or into any shelving or fixtures.
- Wear safe and appropriate footwear.
- Keep exit doors and electrical panels unlocked.
- Safety glasses must be worn in all applicable and requisite situations.
- In the event of fire, follow specific procedures for our office:
- Keep calm.
- Call the fire department; know the emergency phone number.
- If you are trapped in the office, keep the doors closed and seal any cracks (with wet towels if possible).
- Open or break a window for air and call for help; do not panic or jump.
- The best rule of all is to be sure that:
- all fire extinguishers are checked and in proper working condition,
- you know where each extinguisher is located, and
- you are familiar with the right procedure for their use.
If you experience or witness an accident in which an employee, patient, client, or visitor sustains a personal injury, regardless of how serious it is, immediately report the situation to your employer. Likewise, employees who are exposed to occupational health hazards or suffer a job-connected health injury must report it immediately. Failure to report an accident can result in a violation of legal requirements and can lead to difficulties in processing insurance and benefit claims.
As a healthcare facility in the community, we want to set an example of sound health awareness and conduct. Because of the overwhelming evidence that smoking is dangerous and injurious to a person’s health, we encourage our employees not to smoke. However, we recognize that the decision to smoke or not to smoke is a personal one.
Because of possible “secondary smoke” hazards, smoking is not permitted on the premises.
We urge you to go to the polls before or after regular working hours. If that is not possible, the election code allows up to two hours’ time off, without loss of pay, for statewide elections. Please give us at least two working days’ notice that you will need the time off, which may be scheduled at the beginning or end of your working hours.
We think you will agree that neat, clean and tasteful clothing is the best choice for a medical office.
Our close contact with patients and/or clients makes it all the more important that everyone pays particular attention to personal and oral hygiene. Inappropriate appearance and dress, i.e., a pierced nose, eyebrows, tongue or lips, will not be tolerated. Visible tattoos, dyeing of hair in wild colors, etc. are not acceptable. Employees will be sent home without pay to correct any type of appearance that is inappropriate.
Small, lightweight jewelry is acceptable. (Save the large, jangling “fun stuff” for your days off.)
For women, short or shoulder-length hair is preferred. Longer hair must be tied back neatly, so it does not interfere with the performance of duties. Men are to be clean-shaven or wear neatly trimmed mustaches, beards and sideburns. Hair must be clean, well trimmed and well groomed.
Nails are to be manicured and of a length that does not interfere with your duties. For sanitary reasons, nails must be short. You must wear gloves!
Keep cosmetics and perfume to a minimum.
Clinical staff are required to wear uniforms. You are responsible for laundering and maintaining your uniforms. T-shirts, blue jeans, sandals, open-toed shoes and shorts are unacceptable. Office staff are required to wear business attire or a uniform as designated above. All employees are required to wear name tags.
PERSONAL DATA CHANGES
The law requires us to maintain certain employee records. So we can keep our records updated, please report any of the following changes as they occur:
- Telephone Number
- Marital Status
- Number of Dependents
- Education (courses completed and other training or skills required)
- Selective Service Status
- Person(s) to Notify in Case of an Emergency
- Physical or Other Limitations
- Change in Beneficiaries
In an emergency, an updated file will speed efforts in locating the proper parties to be notified. Your employee records file contains your work and salary history, performance evaluations, job descriptions and miscellaneous data. To see your file or make copies of its contents (with the exception of reference given prior to employment), you will need to give the office a written request.
Time spent on solicitation during work hours (exclusive of lunch or break period) by either the soliciting or solicited employee is prohibited. Distribution or posting of literature on office property requires special permission. Non-employees are prohibited from trespassing, soliciting or distributing literature on office property.
You are responsible for any personal belongings that you bring to the office. Be sure to tell us immediately if you lose an office key. Do not make duplicate office keys. No outside agency, inspector, visitor, inquirer, salesperson or ex-employee may enter the operatories or office from the reception area without permission. Do not discuss the security system or code with any unauthorized person. Violations will result in immediate dismissal.
Park in the designated areas and lock your car. The office is not responsible for damage or theft to automobiles or personal property.
The office telephones are intended for business use, so please refrain from making or receiving personal calls. In the event of an emergency, you will be contacted immediately. Outgoing long distance calls of a personal nature are to be logged at the time of the call and the total time given immediately to the office administrator. Personal calls are to be reported and paid for when the telephone bill is received. No personal long distance or toll calls are to be charged to the employer’s telephone without permission.
OUTSIDE EMPLOYMENT (moonlighting)
We expect you to devote your full efforts to the interests of the practice during your working hours. Avoid outside business or gainful activities that could divert your time, interest or talents away from the satisfactory accomplishment of your responsibilities.
CONFIDENTIALITY AND NON-DISCLOSURE
We make available to each employee certain information including patients’ and clients’ names, medical history and addresses, communications, files, bills and payment records, office forms or manuals, etc. These items are of substantial value, highly confidential, constitute the professional and trade secrets of the doctor. They are confidential and provided and disclosed to the employee solely for use in connection with your employment. We ask our employees to honor the following:
To regard and preserve practice information as highly confidential and trade secrets of the employer. Such information must not be discussed away from the premises or within hearing distance of any patient/client or unauthorized person.
To not disclose or permit to be disclosed any of this information to any person or entity.
To not photocopy or duplicate, and not permit any person to photocopy or duplicate, any of the information without the employer’s consent and approval.
To continue to keep any information inviolate, even after termination of employment with the office.
To release personal information about other staff members – telephone number, address, etc. – only with the staff member’s specific and prior approval in writing.
Employees who handle confidential information are responsible for its security. Extreme care should be exercised to ensure it is safeguarded to protect the practice, each staff member, the suppliers, the patient/clients and the employer. Any employee who violates this confidentiality and disclosure policy is subject to disciplinary action up to and including discharge, and in extreme cases, legal action.
Although not intended to discourage staff creativity, any system, idea or communication developed during your employment here is property of the practice and remains so even after termination.
MAINTENANCE – HOUSEKEEPING
Clean and orderly surroundings have a positive bearing on staff morale and productivity. Patients/clients are favorably impressed and attracted to an office that looks professional and well-maintained. Be sure to keep work areas neat and tidy and to correct or report any conditions that detract from the professional image that we want to convey.
Staff members are encouraged to leave problems at home rather than bringing them to work, but at times this may be unavoidable. If you have a problem so severe that it affects your ability to perform, please discuss it with the doctor or office manager.
You can expect understanding and help toward finding a solution that we hope will be in everyone’s best interest. You can count on us to keep it private, and we expect you to do the same. Never discuss personal problems within hearing distance of patients or clients, guests or other staff members.
DON’T PRACTICE WITHOUT A LICENSE
After a short while, one becomes somewhat knowledgeable in certain standard advice to patients. From a legal standpoint, however, when a patient/client has a medical question, it is best to inform the person that you will relay the question to the doctor, and then get back to them with the answer to their questions.
PATIENTS/CLIENT NEEDS ARE PARAMOUNT
Our patients/clients come to us because of a desire for quality medical care for themselves and their family members. We need to convey an atmosphere of warmth, caring, professionalism, efficiency and competence. It is important to always show that you really do care about the patient. Never act indifferently. Communicate with our patients/clients. Always strive to leave your own distractions and problems at home.
Positive comments made by the patients or clients about the improvement of their health, their pet’s health, about the doctor or other staff, or any aspect of the service that they are receiving should be relayed to the doctor.
Negative comments should also be relayed, as the comment may be a signal about a misunderstanding or a problem that should be addressed. Route any comments directly to the doctor via a note on the patient’s folder.
UNDERSTANDING OUR PROFESSION
We encourage you to learn all you can about our profession. You are encouraged to refer your friends and relatives to our office.
ALCOHOL AND DRUG ABUSE
Being under the influence of any drug or alcoholic beverage on the job poses serious risks to the health and safety of the patients and fellow employees. Therefore, any use, sale, purchase, transfer or possession of any illegal or non-prescription drug is prohibited at any time. This includes being under the influence of alcohol and/or any drug while on duty or performing any practice-related business.
Legally prescribed medications are permitted only to the extent the use of such medications does not adversely affect the employee’s ability, job performance or the safety of that individual and others. Any employee who is determined to be in violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action. This may include immediate dismissal and referral to law enforcement officials.
An employee who displays unusual or bizarre behavior that could be attributable to alcohol or chemical substance abuse may be required to undergo a medical examination, including urinalysis, to determine if he or she is suffering from alcoholism or drug use. Consenting to medical testing may be a requirement for continued employment.
DATING OF PATIENTS/CLIENTS
Sometimes a patient/client would like to date a staff member and sometimes it is the other way around. Whichever direction it comes from, it could present problems for the business and could be considered unethical. This includes flirting in any fashion. We are here to provide a professional service to our patients/clients.
If such a situation should present itself, it is the responsibility of the employee to discuss the situation with the doctor and/or office manager to determine the most appropriate method for dealing with the situation to ensure that no poor light is shed on the practice.
We have established a procedure for evaluating job performance on a regular basis. These performance evaluations are vital for future planning, and they provide fair, timely and objective measurement of performance in light of job requirements.
We conduct two evaluations of a new employee during the first year. The first is after approximately 90 days of employment. Another is done after 12 months of employment.
Each staff member receives a performance appraisal at least once a year.
We will advise you of the time for your scheduled review at least three days in advance. This gives both of us an opportunity to prepare so that areas of mutual concern can be addressed.
The performance appraisal is designed to:
- maintain and improve job satisfaction by letting staff members know that we are interested in their job progress and personal development;
- serve as a systematic guide to recognize needs for further training and progress planning;
- assure a factual, objective analysis of an employee’s performance vs. job requirements;
- help place employees in positions within the practice that best utilize their talents and capabilities;
- provide an opportunity to discuss job problems or other job-related interests;
- serve as an aid in salary administration;
- provide a basis for coordinating goals and objectives – the employee’s and the practice’s; and
- give recognition for superior performance.
The performance appraisal will address job factors and behaviors that are observable, measurable and specifically related to job performance.
Factors we consider are:
- quality of work,
- quantity of work,
- job knowledge,
- employee relations, and
- patient/client relations.
Salary adjustments are not necessarily made at the time of the performance evaluation.
TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT
Staff members who quit, are discharged or fail to respond to a recall, will be regarded as separated from employment with the office and will maintain no seniority, recall or other rights.
Separations are either voluntary or involuntary. “Mutual agreement” separations will be classified as either voluntary or involuntary so that they may be processed in accordance with the separation policies and procedures that follow:
- A resignation initiated by the employee.We realize that occasionally a staff member resigns to pursue other interests. It is an accepted business practice and a common courtesy to give two weeks’ notice, so a replacement can be found quickly to fill the position.
Although a staff member may give notice, the resigning staff member may be asked to leave immediately because of staff morale, unsatisfactory job performance or operating needs.
Staff members who are asked to leave immediately will be paid their regular salary in lieu of work. Severance pay will not be awarded, and the resignation will be treated as voluntary.
- Unauthorized Leave:
- If a staff member requests time off that is denied, and the staff member takes off anyway, the time off will be considered job abandonment and treated as a voluntary termination.
- A permanent separation initiated by the employer due to:
- lack of work,
- inability to perform satisfactorily the duties of the position,
- reorganization or relocation,
- unprofessional conduct, and/or
- job abandonment.
The above list is not intended to show all of the possibilities that might result in involuntary release from employment. When possible, staff members receive two weeks’ written notice before termination of employment. The notice will state the reason for the release and the last date of employment.
More questions? See our FAQs
If you would rather speak to us in person, please call us today: (877) 386-0388. Or request a callback at a day and time that is most convenient for you.