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How Do You Measure Up? - October 2013 - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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Page 23 of 118

OSE_1310_part1_Layout 1 10/7/13 10:02 AM Page 24 LEGAL UPDATE to an arrest record might in some situations be viewed as racial discrimination. Soliciting information that directly or indirectly suggests an applicant's gender, race, national or ethnic origin, disability, religion or other protected classification can also be legally actionable. Be aware of such off-limits questions and details before filling your next job opening. Responding to employee complaints. Surgery's a high-pressure job. It's not uncommon to witness flaring tempers, raised voices or obscene language. Such an environment is ripe for employee complaints. You can be held liable for failing to properly respond to reports of alleged harassment. Additionally, complaints about patient care, workplace safety or wage-and-hour law violations may trigger legal obligations under federal and state whistleblower laws. Take your staff's complaints seriously by investigating and, where necessary, applying remedial action. 3 Medical/disability leaves of absence. The federal Family Medical Leave Act provides eligible employees with 12 weeks of leave in a 12-month period for childbirth or personal and family medical care. It applies if you have 50 or more employees. Even if the FMLA doesn't apply, you may be obligated to provide medical leave under other federal or state laws. The federal Americans with Disabilities Act, for example, may allow a leave and applies if you have 15 or more employees. Don't rush to terminate an employee who is unable to work for medical reasons. Evaluate each situation and determine if you must offer leave time. 4 5 2 4 Terminating "at-will" employees. You're probably familiar with the concept of "at-will" employment. But you should also know that O U T PAT I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E O N L I N E | O C T O B E R 2013

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