Dental practices, like many other small businesses, face a myriad of challenges when it comes to managing their workforce. One crucial aspect that often gets overlooked is the proper adherence to employment laws, specifically regarding wages. In the latest episode of the “DrBicuspid.com Podcast,” Michelle Coker, an employment practices analyst for the California Dental Association, delves into the concept of “wage traps” and offers valuable advice on how to avoid them.
Understanding Wage Traps
Wage traps entail a variety of common practices that may occur in dental offices. These are scenarios where employees might not be adequately compensated for their time, potentially leading to labor law violations. Examples of wage traps include:
- Not being on the clock when beginning or ending the day with tasks like setting up or cleanup.
- Engaging in unpaid working interviews.
- Failures to provide compliant meal and rest breaks.
- Not paying for overtime and off-the-clock work.
- Overlooking payment for employees attending required meetings.
Key Takeaways from the Podcast:
The Hygienist Misconception
Hygienists are often at the center of wage disputes because of misconceptions about their pay. Ensuring that their time is tracked accurately, that they receive their entitled breaks, and that they are paid for any overtime is crucial.
Off-the-Clock Work Risks
It can be a costly mistake not to pay for off-the-clock work. This includes situations where employees might come in early or stay late to complete work-related tasks without compensation.
The Working Interview Pitfall
Many dental practices run working interviews to assess potential hires. It’s vital to remember that this time is work and should therefore be compensated accordingly.
Meetings that are required for employees to attend should be treated as on-the-clock events, and employees must be paid for their time.
Regular Policy Updates
Coker emphasizes the importance of having a well-maintained employee manual that reflects the current employment laws, which can frequently change.
Legal Compliance and Resources
Dentists and practice managers should stay in touch with their local dental association or seek advice from employment law attorneys to ensure full compliance with employment laws.
Listening to the Expert
In the podcast, which spans just under 15 minutes, Coker covers these topics in depth. Her expertise underlines the importance of understanding and implementing a fair wage system to avoid potential legal complications that could arise from unintentional noncompliance.
Dentists and dental practice managers can listen to Michelle Coker’s full insights by accessing the podcast here.
The key takeaway from this podcast is clear: knowledge and compliance are your best allies when it comes to avoiding wage traps. By frequently reviewing employment practices and staying informed about legal requirements, dental practices can ensure a fair and motivated workplace for all employees while also safeguarding the business from potential legal repercussions.
How HR for Health Can Be Your Trusty Sidekick Against Wage Traps
Although tackling wage traps sounds like being caught in a showdown with an arch-nemesis, fear not – HR for Health is here to turn you into an HR superhero. With our unparalleled expertise and cutting-edge services, we’ll navigate those sinister wage traps together, one dental practice at a time.
Customized Guidance to Zap Legal Troubles
HR for Health takes the employment law labyrinth and transforms it into a roadmap for your dental practice. With state-specific guidance, we address your unique circumstances, laser-targeting employment laws and offering customized solutions. Buh-bye, wage trap woes!
Employee Handbooks: The HR Equivalent of a Cape
What’s a superhero without a cape? We know what you’re thinking: “My practice is rocking its employee handbook, thank you very much.” But are you? HR for Health crafts and regularly updates employee handbooks to reflect the ever-changing landscape of labor regulations. These handbooks provide clear expectations and guidelines for employees – a crucial resource in wage dispute prevention.
The Dynamic Duo: Timekeeping & Payroll Systems
With great power comes great responsibility, and HR for Health’s timekeeping and payroll systems shoulder that burden like a champ. Our comprehensive, easy-to-use system ensures proper compensation for your employees and puts wage issues in their rightful place: out of sight, out of mind.
HR Support That Knows What’s Up
When it comes to seeking HR help, there’s nothing worse than a run-of-the-mill response. That’s not how we roll. Our team of experts know the ins and outs of dental practices, meaning you get tailored advice suited to your specific needs. No cookie-cutter answers here – we offer the real deal, because you deserve it.
So, whether you’re an old hand in the dental practice game or just setting up shop, HR for Health can help lift the weight of HR worries off your shoulders. Reach out to us and together, let’s save the dental world from wage traps! To learn more, schedule a demo today.