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Employment Law Update

New overtime rule now in effect

By Mike O’Brien bio Jan. 1, 2020 was the deadline to comply with new FLSA overtime rule. At the end of September the Department of Labor issued its long-awaited final rule updating the salary level test for white-collar overtime exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Under the new rule, the minimum salary level for exemption is raised from $455 a week to $684 a week, or $35,568 annually. The change marks the first increase in the minimum salary level to take effect in more than 15 years. It is expected to bring overtime eligibility to over a million employees who are ineligible under the current threshold. Although the DOL released a final rule raising the salary level in 2016, the rule was blocked by a federal district court and… . . . read more.

ENFORCEMENT

Feds Take Down $2.1 Billion Medicare Genetic Test Fraud Scheme

You know that a branch of lab testing has gone from fad to mainstream when it becomes the subject of a major federal enforcement takedown. Accordingly, the newly announced breakup of a $2.1 billion genetic billing fraud scam, one of the largest Medicare frauds ever undertaken, signifies that genetic testing has officially arrived. Operation Double Helix Known as Operation Double Helix, this landmark investigation and prosecution was a joint HHS, DOJ and FBI crackdown carried out in five federal districts against 35 defendants associated with genetic testing labs (CGx) and telemedicine companies, including doctors, CFOs and CEOs that allegedly “capitalized on the fears of elderly Americans to induce them to sign up for unnecessary or non-existent cancer screening tests,” according to one of the U.S. Attorneys involved. Old Wine in… . . . read more.

COMPLIANCE

Hiring and firing risk factor: careless words

Today’s administrators need to be aware of the casual – albeit well meant – words that are bringing on claims of discrimination. Legal risks of both hiring and firing include careless words, says employment law attorney Donald W. Benson, a partner with Hall Booth Smith in Atlanta. The friendly hiring remark The dangers start with the interview, where a wrong comment can generate a claim no employer ever expects, says Benson. Everybody knows not to ask the obvious questions of “are you married?” or “do you have children?” or “are you planning to have a family in the future?” Yet many an interviewer brings up a discriminatory topic obliquely and unwittingly in an effort to build rapport with a candidate, never thinking about the danger. Remarks such as “we have a… . . . read more.

ERGONOMICS

Better productivity and a happier staff happen as ergonomics steps in

Ergonomics is good economics. When the work areas are in sync with the people spending their days in them, there’s no time lost to sick days and no money lost to low productivity, says Hayley Kaye, a certified professional ergonomist with HLK Consulting in New York City. Achieving that calls for attention to the desks, the telephones, and the chairs. But it also calls for teaching people how to set them up correctly. It’s of zero value to have thousands of dollars of ergonomically correct furniture that nobody has adjusted. The elbow-wrenching desktop A good place to start is with the hands and elbows. For typing, they need to be level, Kaye says. Yet most desks are too high to the point that anybody shorter than 6’2″ has to sit with… . . . read more.

Department of Labor enters final stage of update to ‘regular rate’ rule under FLSA

By Mike O’Brien  bio Department of Labor enters final stage of update to ‘regular rate’ rule under FLSA. As we have discussed previously in these updates, the Department of Labor has been working to update the definition of “regular rate” of pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The regular rate is used to calculate overtime pay. The rule has not been updated in half a century, and fails to capture the realities of the modern workplace. The DOL recognized this, and has now proposed a final rule to the White House Office of Management and Budget. Although the details are not yet publicly available, prior versions of the rule clarified that forms of compensation like tuition reimbursement, employee discounts, employer-provided gym costs, wellness programs, and certain other benefits are… . . . read more.

WORKPLACE SAFETY

Six steps to prepare for an active shooter event in the workplace

Active shooter events are devastating and unpredictable, says Melissa Gonzalez Boyce, a legal editor for XpertHR. She also points out that…


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RISK MANAGEMENT

How your staff can help prevent costly malpractice lawsuits

Doctors aren’t the only ones who cause malpractice claims. Staff can cause them too by the way they treat the patients and by the way they do their jobs…


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WORKING WITH PHYSICIANS

How to handle the ‘bully doctor’ without losing your temper or your job

A growing concern in all types of professional offices is the bully boss. “Bullying is the issue for this decade that sexual harassment was in the…


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LEAVES OF ABSENCE

How to manage maternity or leaves of absence

Employee leaves of absence for maternity or medical reasons can be tricky to navigate and can place heavy staffing and…


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MANAGING STAFF

The plain and practical side of medical office managing

Equally as important as regulations, revenue, coding, and Medicare are the day-to-day issues of running the office and managing the…


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