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HIRING

How pre-hire social media searches save employers

By Lynne Curry You thought the applicant knocked it out of the park with his resume and answers to your interview questions. Do you make the offer? Not so fast. Have you fully checked out the real person behind the resume and interview answers? In addition to reference checks, ninety percent of employers now use social media to evaluate job candidates.1 According to Harvard Business Review, fifty-four percent of employers reject applicants after finding negative information on social media.2  If you don’t believe you need to check social media, remember the candidate that appeared to be a shoo-in for a Board of Regents appointment until her twitter against Senator Lisa Murkowski, “You posturing with a parade of rape victims is doing nothing relevant. Get your sh-t together,” torpedoed her candidacy.3… . . . read more.

COMPLIANCE

A staffer hands you a two-week notice: What’s next?

By Paul Edwards It’s 4:30 on a Friday afternoon, and one of your employees knocks on your door asking to come in. They’re avoiding eye contact, they’re fidgety, nervous… This can’t be good news. You imagine accidentally shredded payroll reports, stolen laptops full of patient information, or something equally catastrophic. But when the employee tells you what’s going on, it’s the last thing you expected: They’re putting in their 2 weeks’ notice. Now what do you do? Before you can decide, you’ll need to know what your options are. In any at-will employment arrangement, you can let an employee go at any time for any reason that’s not unlawful (although there are factors you should consider first), and the employee can also quit at any time, with notice or not. At-will employment… . . . read more.

Employment Law Update

Did your employees move out of state during the pandemic?

By Mike O’Brien Here’s a growing concern for employers over the last couple of years: discovering that an employee has moved from one state to another while working remotely during the pandemic. This situation presents a number of problems and challenges for employers. Imagine the situation where you are a state-based company and hire someone who lives in the state. Unless the job duties outline something else, in this situation there is at least an implicit agreement that the employee will live and work in your state and stay here while employed. Based on this agreement you, the employer, apply your state laws to the relationship, pay your state taxes, report the new hire in your state, etc. If, however, the employee moves to another state and works remotely from… . . . read more.

COMPLIANCE

5 things to do before a HIPPA audit happens to your medical office

By Jordan MacAvoy The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was introduced to safeguard sensitive patient data. As expected, a good number of covered entities and business associates are yet to implement the safeguards fully. Most of these healthcare providers, business associates, and organizations that are struggling to implement the compliance guidelines, think that they might not be audited. It might not happen today, but eventually, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) will get to you. Since you’ve no idea when the OCR will decide to audit your business, the best decision is to prepare for the audit. When the OCR decides to audit your business, they’ll send you an email, and you’ll have 10 business days to compile and provide the relevant documents. Here is how you do… . . . read more.

Patient Privacy

Failure to prevent ransomware attacks exposes healthcare providers to costly negligence lawsuits

Custodians of personal health information have become a prime target for ransomware attacks. In addition to fines for HIPAA violations, failure to safeguard patient medical information against these threats can lead to liability under state negligence and gross negligence laws, including within the framework of potentially disastrous class action lawsuits. The recent case against national cloud software provider Blackbaud, Inc. offers a useful illustration of potential ransomware liability risks. The Ransomware Attack and Class Action Lawsuit    It’s an all too familiar story. Blackbaud was burned in a two-stage ransomware attack that compromised the private, personal data of many of the medical labs, non-profits and other users of its data management software for fundraising and marketing. A group of 34 downstream customers of those clients whose data was exposed banded… . . . read more.

COMPLIANCE

What to do if an employee defies your mandatory vaccination policy

Mandatory vaccination policies have become a touchstone issue for employers in just about every industry. And all of this begs a question of crucial importance: What should you do when employees defy your medical office’s mandatory vaccination policy? Your choices: Terminate them immediately Accommodate them immediately None of the above The answer is C, none of the above. It’s not that termination and accommodation aren’t valid options; it’s the word “immediately” that makes them the wrong choice. The 2 things to do when employees refuse mandatory vaccination Here’s what you should do if one of your employees refuses to comply with your mandatory vaccination policy. Step 1: Find Out Why They Won’t Get Vaccinated Before the pandemic, mandatory vaccination policies were rare and limited to sensitive sectors like health care… . . . read more.

EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE

New technical guidance on religious exemptions to vaccination

By Mike O’Brien EEOC Issues New Technical Guidance on Religious Exemptions to Vaccine Mandates On Oct. 25 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued new updates to its Covid-19 technical guidance. Specifically, the EEOC seeks to clarify employer obligations and employee rights related to religious exemptions to vaccine mandates. The guidance addresses the following questions: Does the employee need to use “magic words” to request an accommodation? Like requests for accommodation of a disability under the ADA, requests for religious accommodation need not use particular words or phrases like “religious accommodation” or “reasonable accommodation.” Instead, they simply need to communicate that there is a conflict between a sincerely held religious belief and a work requirement (such as a vaccine mandate). The EEOC notes that an employee may also have a religious… . . . read more.

EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE

Updates and more updates about vaccine mandates

By Mike O’Brien Given the flurry of recent news reports surrounding COVID vaccine requirements, an update about mandates seems, well, mandatory. Like our readers, the authors of these updates look forward to a happier time, when the most pressing issues in HR law are not all somehow pandemic-related. In the meantime, we will do our best to keep you up to date. OSHA sends White House its vaccine mandate rule for review On Oct. 12, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sent the White House its highly-anticipated rule implementing the mandatory vaccine requirements President Biden announced in September for businesses with 100 or more employees. The exact content of the rule (an Emergency Temporary Standard, or ETS) is not publicly known, but the basic parameters would require covered employers… . . . read more.

SELLING THE PRACTICE

Due diligence in practice acquistions and physician employment

By John W. McDaniel Many hospitals and healthcare organizations are being approached by private practice physicians and physician groups seeking refuge from the unstable state of the healthcare economy and what lies ahead. While many healthcare organizations are employing physicians in order to solidify their market position, others (particularly in rural areas) find this method of physician recruitment most effective in terms of their overall medical staff development plans. Regardless of the reasons why hospitals and/or physicians are seeking to affiliate with one another, one of the most critical components to ensure that a successful transition occurs is performing a Due Diligence Analysis of prospective medical practices. Some of the most critical due diligence components which are a part of any medical practice acquisition are as follows: Rights to Payment… . . . read more.

TOOL

Model Medical Office Workplace Vaccine Passport Policy

Although courts have yet to weigh in on the issue, guidelines from the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and other regulatory agencies indicate that employers may implement vaccine passports if they perform a workplace assessment and determine that limiting entry to the vaccinated is a necessary health and safety measure to prevent an imminent risk. Employers must also ensure that their passport policies comply with anti-discrimination and privacy protection requirements. Here’s a Model Policy that you can adapt for use at your own medical office, depending on the workplace-specific circumstances involved.


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