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Apr28

Nursing Hours

What is the limited number of days a nurse can work in a row?

There is no federal law that limits the number of hours or days any adult employee may be required to work. Some states have adopted day of rest laws. Some states have gone further by adopting laws restricting mandatory overtime specifically for nursing staff.

Feel free to post your state in the comments section and we can research applicable state legislation.

Just to note, mandatory overtime in the healthcare profession has been a longstanding issue. Employers should not view the lack of regulations on the matter as a rationalization for requiring any employee to work excessive hours or days in a row. It’s common knowledge that excessive work hours leads to employee fatigue and illness, safety concerns, and low morale. All of which can mean severe consequences in the healthcare industry.

April 28th, 2016, 7:06 PM |  Posted in: Labor Laws |
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Apr28

Vacation Time for Exempt Employees

If an exempt employee works less than 40 hrs. (ex. 39.5 hours) can any time worked less than 40hrs be charged against their vacation time?

Vacation benefits are not covered under employment law. Thus, employers are generally free to implement vacation policies at their discretion.

Employers are permitted to adopt a policy requiring employees, exempt or non-exempt, to use paid time off accruals to substitute for time not worked during the employee’s regular workweek. If an exempt employee is scheduled to work 40 hours a week but actually works 39.5 hours, the employer may require the employee to use .5 hours of PTO accrual.

The employer, however, may not deduct the equivalent of .5 hours from an exempt employee’s salary if the employee has exhausted his PTO accruals. Deductions from an exempt employee’s salary are only permitted in limited circumstances and in almost all cases only in full day increments.

Just because this PTO practice is legal doesn’t mean it’s a good one. Employers must carefully consider the pros and cons in making a determination whether such a policy is beneficial. In making that determination, it’s important to remember that exempt employees are expected to complete their work duties in however many hours in takes without additional compensation. So, requiring them to use their PTO to cover any hours less than their normal schedule is not really treating them as true professionals. Again, the practice is permissible just not very sensible in some cases.

April 28th, 2016, 6:51 PM |  Posted in: Benefits, Compensation |
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Apr27

Retroactive FMLA Requests

Is there a particular form required to be filled out by the medical provider when requesting retroactive FMLA leave?

Retroactive FMLA leave designations are permitted as long as the employee is provided with appropriate notice and doing so does not cause “harm or injury” to the employee. An employer and employee can mutually agree that leave can be retroactively designated as FMLA leave. In fact, this is almost always advisable to do since proving that no “harm or injury” has occurred can be difficult.

The DOL Certification of Health Care Provider form or a similar form can be used for retroactive designations. There is not a specific form just for retroactive designations.

It’s worth mentioning that it’s important to determine if there was any way the retroactive designation could’ve been prevented. Are appropriate preventative measures in place to indentify if an employee’s need for leave may initiate the FMLA process? Are supervisors trained to be aware of potential qualifying reasons for FMLA leave? Was the initial notice of eligibility just not sent? Using this time to analyze your FMLA process may eliminate future issues.

April 27th, 2016, 8:55 AM |  Posted in: Human Resources Management |
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Apr27

Leave for PT Doctor

What kind of paid leave are clinics granting for a PT Doctor after a spouses death?

Employment laws don’t cover bereavement leave, so such leave is at the discretion of the employer. Many employers offer three days of paid bereavement leave. This time is often extended for the death of an immediate family member, like a spouse.

Employers may also grant a personal leave of absence to an employee who has lost an immediate family member or one who has duties associated with the family member’s passing. A 30-day leave of absence is fairly common. Usually, employees would be required to use any paid time off accruals during this time. Otherwise, the leave is unpaid. Of course, this is completely at the employer’s discretion and you can choose to pay the employee for the leave.

A part time employee most likely doesn’t meet the criteria for leave under the federal Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) but it’s still worth mentioning.

The FMLA entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave in a defined 12-month period to care for one’s own serious health condition. Depression after the death of a loved one is often considered a qualifying condition for FMLA leave.

April 27th, 2016, 8:39 AM |  Posted in: Benefits |
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Apr26

Clocking in and out

Our office is located in CA. We have 2 salaried exempt employees. One salaried exempt male works in our main office in CA and the other salaried exempt employee moved to CO and I pay for an office for her to work out of (no one else works there). Can I require the CO employee to clock in and out to have record that she showed up for work and not require the male employee in CA to do so? I work out of the main office in CA so I know when that employee is at work. Thanks

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes compensation and recordkeeping requirements for employees in the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments.

Since an exempt employee is expected to complete their job duties, regardless of the time it takes them to do so, there is a common assumption that exempt employees don’t have to punch a clock. However, there is no regulation in the FLSA that prohibits an employer from requiring exempt employees from clocking in/out.

Tracking an exempt employee’s hours worked is acceptable as long as the purposes for doing so are unrelated to the employee’s pay.

Usually, it’s advisable to treat all employees in similar positions the same to reduce the potential for discrimination claims. However, a legitimate business need may warrant a separate policy for certain employees.

Since one of your employees works out of state and no other practical way to confirm her time and attendance exists, there is a clear non-discriminatory business reason to require that employee to document her hours worked. Just remember to document your reasoning.

Just something to consider…do you always work out of the CA office? Do you always or at least for the majority of times know when the male employee in CA works? Point being, if you often work from home or from another location and you don’t really know the daily times he works then you should adopt the same time recording policies for both staff.

April 26th, 2016, 2:47 PM |  Posted in: Attendance Management |
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