Many medical practices may often find themselves in a position where employee claims are made against them
These claims — also known as administrative claims — usually don't require an attorney. However, they can get costly and time-consuming very quickly. In this case, you'll need to prevent these potential claims whenever possible for your dental, optometry, or other medical practice to thrive.
An administrative claim occurs when an employee claims that you have violated some state or local law. Most of the time, these claims always start at the state level, as many statutes require employees to pursue administrative remedies before going to the court system. This process, where issues are resolved at the administrative level before proceeding to court, was designed explicitly to relieve the burden on the court system.
One advantage of resolving cases at the administrative level is that an attorney is usually not required. However, before employee claims can reach the court system, they must be investigated by a government agency. So, if the case has been appropriately administrated — or if an employer can prove their case — you can then prevent it from reaching the court level. Doing so can save a significant amount of time and expenses.
What are Common Claims Filed by Employees, and How Can You Prevent Them?
Specific administrative claims are more common than others. These include:
• Accusations of discrimination
• Accusations of harassment
• Wage & hour payment issues
These serious issues can result in significant financial penalties against the practices in question.
The good news is that there are better ways for your practice to protect itself against these claims. For example, HR for Health has a cloud-based storage function that allows you to store any documents related to investigations or accusations. By using this cloud-based storage, you can ensure that you have evidence to demonstrate when a discrimination claim was made and what you did to investigate it. It also allows you to easily track and access this information, ensuring you don't spend hours digging through boxes of paperwork.
A good HR software should also offer a violations feature. For example, if an employee is disciplined, you can track that information and an employee's acknowledgment of an alleged violation. A robust violations feature can easily help track paperwork related to potential HR violations and protect you from wrongful termination.
Finally, you want to choose a software that includes electronic timekeeping, which can help you keep accurate records down to the very second and automatically integrate with your payroll system. These vital records can protect you and your employees by ensuring they are accurately paid and automatically paid overtime whenever overtime is incurred.
What is the General Process of an Administrative Claim?
All states have different administrative claims. However, when an employee claims that there has been some violation, the process is generally as follows:
• An employee files a claim.
• The relevant state authorities conduct an investigation.
• The practice owner can prepare a statement that is essentially a rebuttal to the claim. This is when a practice owner can defend itself against the charges and submit evidence that is relevant to the charge in question.
• A hearing may commence to gather all the relevant details.
• The relevant state authority will issue a finding upon completion of the investigation. Depending on the result of the study, an employee may receive a notice of "right to sue" letter that allows a case to go to court.
Other than the points stated above, there are a few additional points to keep in mind. One important thing to remember is that complaints also have a time limit. Generally, this means you should consider the statutes of limitations for the entire proceeding, on top of the various conditions involved and alleged violations, which also have their specific time limit.
Other than that, it's also essential to note that complaints will vary depending on the specific state's law. For example, the statute of limitation for wrongful termination claims is two years from the termination date. So, employees who claim wrongful termination must sue, or file their claims, in under two years.
As a practice manager, there are many situations in which you have to be particularly cautious. It would be best to keep an eye on cases where the investigation starts to uncover incriminating information. When this happens, it is often worth it for a practice to settle, to stop them from spending time and money on a case they are highly likely to lose.
Stay on Top of Everchanging Compliance Updates
The world of HR is constantly changing, and employee claims against you may take the form of HR violations you didn't even know existed. At HR for Health, we keep dental, optometry, veterinary, chiropractic, and other medical practices informed of compliance updates that are relevant to them. This protects you from needing to monitor these changes yourself.
We also offer a series of tools that support a healthy compliance program. This includes:
• On-the-spot coaching. We can guide you through each process while ensuring that your practice is always informed of all relevant compliance updates.
• Performance management tools. These tools, such as performance management tools and violations feature, can help you keep track of all instances whenever your team does not follow specific procedures. These features are beneficial when a practice needs to begin the disciplinary action process and track relevant evidence.
• Internal messaging system. Our messaging system allows practices to quickly and efficiently send their team updates around compliance updates.
• Legislative and regulatory updates. We provide our clients with regular announcements regarding legislative and regulatory updates needed to ensure your compliance. On top of that, we also rigorously track changes at the federal, state, and local levels, so you never have to worry about missing an announcement.
What You Need to Know
HR tools and proper documentation can protect your practice from employee claims of wrongful behavior or discrimination. Yes, going through the administrative process and ensuring compliance with HR laws can be complicated. However, with expert guidance — like that provided by HR for Health — you can ensure that your practice is always protected.
How HR for Health Can Help
HR for Health has the tools and expertise to help you protect your practice from unwanted employee claims and ensure you stay updated with the latest HR laws. Contact us today to set up a fifteen-minute HR Consultation and learn more about what we can do for your practice.