This manual is not a contract between the employee and employer. There is no promise of any kind by the employer contained in this manual. Regardless of what the manual says or provides, the employer promises nothing and remains free to change wages, benefits, policies, procedures, working conditions, and any other terms or conditions of employment without having to consult anyone and without anyone’s agreement. Except as otherwise provided by written agreement or prohibited by law, the employer continues to have the absolute power to fire anyone with or without good cause and without prior notice.
Dental Practice Mission Statement
This dental practice exists to provide quality dental care to its patients on a timely and efficient basis.
Equal Employment Opportunity
It is the policy of the dental practice not to discriminate against employees or applicants on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, marital status, or the presence of any sensory, physical or mental disability (provided that such disability does not hinder job performance) with respect to recruitment, hiring, training, promotion, and other terms and conditions of employment. All employment decisions shall be consistent with the principle of equal employment opportunity. Any employee or applicant who feels that he or she has been discriminated against because of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, marital status, or sensory, physical, or mental disability should report such incidents to management without fear of reprisal. Confidentiality will be maintained.
The dental practice is committed to the principle that all individuals should be treated with dignity and respect. Harassment of an individual because of race, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion, national origin, or any other reason will not be tolerated. Although harassment for any reason is contrary to office policy, sexual harassment is a problem that deserves particular attention. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Any employee who witnesses harassment or who believes that he or she has been harassed should immediately report the incident to management. All reports will be investigated promptly, fully, and completely, and special privacy safeguards will be applied in handling sexual harassment complaints. No reprisals will be taken against an employee for making a complaint. The office will keep confidential documentation of all allegations and investigations and will take appropriate corrective action—including disciplinary measures against employees and dismissal of patients from the practice, when justified—to remedy all violations of this policy.
Suspected Misconduct and Dishonesty
The employer will not tolerate theft or other misappropriation of assets, misstatements and other irregularities in the company records, wrongdoing, forgery or other alteration of documents, fraud, other unlawful acts, and any similar acts. It is improper to make a false report or to provide false, inaccurate, deceptive, or misleading information in any patient record or to any insurer, third-party administrator, patient, or other party. Every employee has a responsibility to report suspected misconduct and dishonesty.
Except as otherwise provided by written agreement or prohibited by law, employment in this office is “at will,” meaning that either the employee or the employer can terminate the employment relationship at any time, with or without cause and without prior notice. All employees who regularly work full time are entitled to benefits generally described in this employee manual but specifically governed by benefit plan terms. Other benefits as required by law are also provided. The employer reserves the right to alter, change, or discontinue such benefits at any time or for any reason. Regular full-time employees are those who are employed 52 weeks a year and work a minimum of 35 hours per week. Part-time employees working less than an average of 20 hours per week, per year, are ineligible for holiday, vacation, or sick day wages, or any other benefits.
Contact With Patients and the Public
This office expects every employee to display good judgment, diplomacy, and courtesy when dealing with patients and the public, and to adhere to the highest standards of personal and professional ethics. With that in mind, every person must be offered every courtesy when contacting the office, whether in person, by mail, or by telephone. Employees should handle all contact efficiently and promptly. It is especially important that telephone calls be returned without delay—on the same day whenever possible. Arrogance or rudeness from a staff member will not be tolerated. Employees should respect patient confidentiality and privacy, and determine our authority to provide any patient information before complying with the request. Proper business decorum is always expected, but it is especially appropriate when patients are present. Each employee should always be aware of such situations and make certain that proper business deportment is followed.
Careful custody and handling of patient information and documents or materials containing confidential information or trade secrets are of great importance. Each employee is responsible for safeguarding against theft, loss, unauthorized use, or disclosure of this information. Therefore, all employees must take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that all documents and information are handled, stored, transmitted, or destroyed in a manner that will preserve confidentiality and eliminate loss or misuse.
Employees occasionally may have to make personal calls during work hours. They should be limited in quantity and duration. All long-distance personal calls must be made on the employee’s personal cell phone.
Employees must wear uniforms or protective clothing whenever specified by the employer. Although business casual clothing is acceptable, there are some items that are not appropriate for dental office wear.
These items include:
• T-shirts with vulgar or suggestive language
• Casual shorts such as cut-offs or stretch shorts
• Extremely sheer clothing
• Tank tops with no other body covering
• Any outlandish or overly revealing attire
It is impossible to try to list every item that might be objectionable. Any questions about particular clothing items should be directed to the office manager or dentist for approval. Management may send an employee home, if necessary, to change into something acceptable for dental office work.
Receiving Guests and Visitors
The reception area must be staffed at all times during all office hours. No persons other than employees are permitted behind the reception desk. Patients should be greeted promptly and courteously by the person sitting at the reception desk. Product vendors, charity collectors, etc., will be seen only by appointment with the dentist.
Hours of Business
The dental office’s general hours of business are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Individual work assignments may vary, as well as Saturday office hours. Our target is to work 8am-5pm Monday-Friday with 4 dental hygiene days.
Performance of Work
An employee is expected to perform all assigned tasks for which he or she is qualified, competent, and legally authorized. This extends to the full range of tasks pertinent to the employee’s position. It also includes the proper maintenance of patient charts and records, as well as avoiding patient neglect. All registrations, certifications, permits, continuing education, or other governmental authorizations must be kept current. Employees must comply with all statutes and regulations (including, but not limited to, OSHA and HIPAA) applicable to this office.
All staff members are responsible for good attendance and punctuality. This means reporting to work on each scheduled workday unless illness or other unavoidable circumstances make it impossible to do so, or unless management has given prior permission to be absent. If you expect to be more than 10 minutes late, call the office. If you will be absent from your position for the entire day, call the office as early as possible so alternate staffing may be arranged. Contact the office manager or the dentist if you feel you need to leave during the day because of illness, injury, or some other compelling reason. Chronic lateness or poor attendance can result in job action and may be considered in the employer’s decision on whether to continue the employment relationship.
The work schedule of a dental office is based on (a) the demand and flow of the work and (b) the patient appointment calendar. For example, if the dentist is away from the office for a seminar, vacation, illness, or any other reason, or when the appointment calendar is light, the work schedule will be revised to match the need for services in each job category. Consequently, even full-time employees are not guaranteed a minimum number of work hours. Compensation is based on hours worked rather than a regular weekly salary. An effort will be made to schedule work with reasonable advance notice, but sudden changes and emergencies may arise.
Full-time employees are allowed one hour for lunch. Part-time employees may take an unpaid lunch if they desire. The lunch break is not part of compensated work time. Lunch and other breaks may be staggered, like starting and quitting times, in order to cover all the hours the office is open. Under federal law, employees are entitled a 15-minute break for every four hours worked.
Occasionally, employees may be called upon or need to work more than 40 hours in one week (including Saturday and Sunday). All overtime work must be discussed with and approved by management in advance. There are often valid reasons for overtime, but discussion with management may result in other ways to accomplish the necessary tasks. Employees who are considered non-exempt (hourly) under the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) will be compensated at the regular pay for up to 40 hours worked in a workweek. Any hours worked in excess of 40 hours by a non-exempt employee will be paid at 1 1/2 times that employee’s regular rate of pay. Holidays, vacations, and other forms of paid leave are treated as hours worked for purposes of computing authorized overtime.
Employees who are considered exempt under the FLSA are not entitled to payment for overtime. Executive and administrative staff members are expected to work the hours necessary to accomplish their assigned duties. Because of the nature of professional services, this may mean evening and weekend activities in excess of regular hours. In recognition of this, executive and administrative staffs generally are offered other benefits and are not charged for personal time out of the office.
Inclement Weather Conditions
Weather conditions that prevent employees from reporting to work are something over which the employer has no control. Therefore, the following rules will prevail: 1. only those who report to work during inclement weather conditions will be paid. The pay will be equal to the actual hours worked. Anyone who does not report to work will not be paid. 2. If employees are instructed not to come to work or if they are sent home, they will not be paid for all hours they were scheduled to work. 3. If an employee requests to go home early during inclement weather conditions and the request is granted, he or she will be paid only for the hours worked. 4. If the employer is closed because of inclement weather conditions, employees will not be paid for the hours they were scheduled to work. 5. Employees who do not report to work or who leave early, as described in Nos. 1 and 3 above, may have their absence charged to either vacation time or personal leave.
Compensation is treated confidentially by management and should be treated in that manner by all employees. Employee compensation will be established based upon budgetary considerations, taking into account job performance, attitude, and contribution to the office. Salary reviews will occur as the employer sets. Salary adjustments are based upon merit. Nevertheless, the employer reserves and retains the right, with sole and absolute discretion, to increase or decrease compensation at any time and in any amount, for any reason or for no reason.
Employees receive their pay checks biweekly (every other week), and checks will be distributed on Wednesdays. For salary purposes, pay periods end on Wednesdays. If a vacation falls during a pay period, the employee who distributes checks will make a reasonable effort to ensure payment before the vacation begins. Social security, federal and state income taxes, and temporary disability and unemployment insurance are automatically deducted from gross salary in a paycheck. An employee who wants additional payroll deductions or has any questions should speak with the employee responsible for personnel. An employee can discuss any unresolved issues with the dentist.
Employee benefits are per employee
This office observes the following paid holidays:
Memorial Day Monday May 29, 2017
Labor Day Monday Sept 4, 2017
Fourth of July Tuesday July 4, 2017
Thanksgiving Day Thursday Nov 23, 2017
The Friday after Thanksgiving Day Friday Nov. 24, 2017
Christmas Eve Sunday Dec. 24, 2017
Christmas Day Monday Dec. 25, 2017
New Year’s Day Monday Jan. 1, 2017
In addition to the listed regularly scheduled holidays, additional Christmas and New Year’s closings may take place at the discretion of the employer. If any holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the day off will be at the discretion of the employer, with the goal of keeping the office open and functioning efficiently. If a holiday occurs during an employee’s vacation, that day will not be counted as a vacation day.
Vacation time must be taken during the year (12 months) after it is earned. Time may not be held over to another year. Full-time employees earn one week of vacation after the first year, and two weeks of vacation after completion of the second year and each subsequent year. The word “after” will be taken to mean at the completion of described periods, not during the period mentioned. Vacation will be based on the anniversary date of employment.
If a national holiday that results in the dental office being closed falls within the week of an employee’s vacation, that employee may add a vacation day. One week equals five working days. Vacation time may be taken one day at a time. Persons wishing to take a cash payment in place of vacation time earned may do so for only one week of the total vacation time earned. For example, employees who have earned two weeks of vacation time may only ask for one of those earned weeks in the form of money and then must take the remaining time as vacation time.
Any cash paid in lieu of time off will be counted on an annualized pay rate. Temporary or part-time employees receive no vacation. Sick leave or personal leave may not be used during vacation time. An employee who terminates employment or whose employment is terminated will be paid for earned but unused vacation. An employee who takes unearned vacation time and leaves employment before completing a corresponding amount of working time will be required to immediately pay to the employer the amount of money owed.
Sick leave is a privilege extended by the employer to full-time employees and should not be considered as additional vacation or personal leave time. It should be used only when the employee is sick and not as a means of gaining additional time off. It is intended to be a benefit to employees only under the following general conditions: A new full-time employee must work for six months before being eligible for paid sick leave. Prior to six months, an employee will not be paid for a day taken off because of illness. Full-time employees who have worked more than six months will be entitled to six days off for illness per calendar year with pay. After an employee becomes eligible, that employee will receive a prorated number of sick days until the beginning of the next calendar year. Sick time may be accumulated up to a total of 14 days. Records of sick leave are kept by the office manager. Employees will not be compensated for unused sick days upon termination of employment. Days off for illness exceeding the number of allowed paid sick days may be taken from vacation time (if any remains). After those paid-leave days are gone, no compensation will be paid. Employees who are ill may take a leave of absence for up to 12 weeks upon the approval of the employer. Dentist, physician, or other medical appointments that require an employee to come in late or leave early for a particular day will not count toward sick leave if scheduled and approved in advance. However, an employee must be at work at least four hours during the day.
Personal leave may be granted by the employer for personal business that cannot be conducted at times other than during regular working hours. Permission must be given by the practice owner. Personal leave must be used in one-hour increments. Each non-exempt employee will receive 10 hours of personal leave each calendar year. Personal leave will not accumulate. For all first-year employees, personal leave time will be prorated based upon date of employment.
Employees may be allowed up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, at the discretion of the employer, because of childbirth or placement of an adopted or foster child, their own serious health condition, or the need to care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition. An employee who uses more than eight work weeks of unpaid leave must substitute paid leave during the remaining time. This means that employees who have accumulated sick leave or vacation leave must substitute paid leave for the remaining time. Full-time employees are eligible for all leave benefits if they have been employed at least 12 months at the time the leave commences. The employee must give reasonable advance notice of a leave if possible.
Also, the employer reserves the right to deny leave when permitted under law. Employees may be asked to report periodically on their status and intentions for returning to work. If a leave exceeds 12 work weeks in a one-year period, it must be approved by the employer. Determination will be made on a case-by-case basis. There is no guarantee of continued employment.
If a full-time employee is subpoenaed or otherwise receives a valid notice to appear for jury duty or as a witness in court, an administrative proceeding, or a deposition, the employee shall be paid regular salary for one business day. A full-time employee will not be compensated for serving on a grand jury.
Funeral Arrangements and Attendance
At the discretion of and upon the approval of the employer, a full time employee may receive up to three days, with pay, if time is necessarily lost from work for making funeral arrangements or attending a funeral. Additional time requested by an employee may be charged against accrued vacation time or otherwise, as determined by the sole discretion of the employer.
Employee personnel files contain important information. Among other items, they list salary, sick and vacation days, and leave history. Employees are responsible for informing the employer, in writing, of any change to their home address, telephone number, marital status, number of dependents, change in insurance beneficiaries, hospitalization, tax withholdings, etc. Problems, including but not limited to those with taxes and employee benefits, can arise when information is not accurate. Employee records are confidential. Only the employee, his or her representative designated in writing, the employer, the employer’s legal counsel, the employee who maintains personnel records, and others designated by the employer will have access to them.
Although the employer will keep such records confidential, there is a chance they may be seen by an unauthorized person. In such an instance, the employer cannot and will not be responsible. If the employer receives a subpoena or discovery request in litigation that calls for the production or copying, in whole or in part, of a personnel file, the employee will be notified of the subpoena or request and may present any objections he or she may have to the court. The employer will comply with a subpoena or court order requiring the production or release of any records.
It is the desire of the employer to maintain positive relations with all employees by constantly seeking to provide mutual understanding and respect through fair and considerate dealings. In the event that an employee has a grievance against the office, another employee, or an office policy, the matter should first be taken to the employee’s immediate supervisor, if feasible. If the grievance involves the immediate supervisor’s personal conduct or if the matter is not resolved after a consultation, then the employee should take the grievance directly to the dentist.
Any exempt employee who decides to terminate employment is expected to provide at least one months’ notice, unless that term is shortened by the employer. Non-exempt employees are expected to provide at least two full weeks’ notice. This is a common courtesy in the business community and necessary to allow for a replacement without disrupting the continuity of the position. Once submitted, resignations are considered final. An employee’s last day on the job is considered to be the last day of active employment and the official termination date, even though payment of salary or wages may extend beyond that date. Upon termination, any and all wages due will be mailed to the employee or made available for pickup on the regular payday when such earnings would normally be paid, unless sooner paid to the employee at the discretion of the employer.
Severance pay, for full time employees, in addition to earned vacation pay, may be provided to employees whose employment is terminated by the employer. The amount of severance pay, if any, will be determined by the employer based on the employee’s length of service and other facts deemed relevant by the employer. As a general rule, two weeks’ severance pay will be given to employees with at least one year’s service. However, there is no promise or agreement, express or implied, to provide severance pay. No compensation for unused sick or personal days will be given. No severance payment will be made when an employee quits without providing required notice; when an employee is discharged for misconduct, serious breach of business practice, or failure to cooperate with the policy; or for any reason at the discretion of the employer.
The execution of service agreements, contracts, etc., shall be signed only by the employer or the employer’s designee.
The employer cannot be held responsible for the safety of employees’ personal belongings. Therefore, all employees are strongly urged to keep handbags, money, keys, and other valuables in locked drawers. Any staff member who must work late or on weekends should be certain to keep all outside office doors locked. The last person to leave the building should be sure to leave on only proper lights, computers, X-ray units, etc., and to engage all security devices.
Alcoholic Beverages and Drugs
The abuse of lawful drugs; the use of unlawful drugs or alcoholic beverages; or the possession, buying, or selling of unlawful drugs or alcoholic beverages at any time on office premises is strictly prohibited. On rare occasions, wine, beer, or liquor may be served during a social function with the permission of the employer. Working or reporting for work under the influence of alcoholic beverages or illegal substances is prohibited and will lead to termination of employment.
Use of Computers
The employer provides computers for those employees whose work requires the use of one. As with all other office equipment, the computer is to be used to assist employees in doing their jobs for the office. While employees may occasionally need to use computers for personal matters during work hours, such use should be limited and not interfere with work. In addition, computers should never be used for improper or illicit purposes. All computer files are subject to review by the employer at any time, without notice.
Employees are each responsible for seeing that their utensils are washed and cleaned and that food, bottles, cups, etc., are cleared from the break room after use. Employees are also responsible for maintaining a clean, uncluttered work space. Coffee, tea, and other appropriate drinks may be consumed in offices, but all disposable bottles, cans, and cups should be properly discarded at the end of the day.
All areas in the dental office are designated non-smoking areas. Any smoking by employees must be done outside the building.
An effort is made to keep the Employee Manual current. However, as with all businesses, new rules and policies are frequently adopted. Such rules, when adopted, are fully applicable to the employment relationship, even if they are not yet reflected in this manual. When an employee identifies a policy that is contradicted by later rules or clearly outdated, it should be brought to the attention of the employer so that the collection of policies can be kept current. The employer reserves the right, with sole and absolute discretion and without prior notice, to change any office policy or practice.
The employee manual does not create an employment agreement or contract. Employment relationships are terminable at will, whether by the employer or the employee.
Attestation by Employee
A copy of this employee manual was given to me for my review. I had the opportunity to take it home, to read it at my leisure, and to consult with any persons of my choice. In addition, any questions that I had were answered to my satisfaction by the employer. I understand that my employment is subject to the following provision clearly set forth in the employee manual: This manual is not a contract between the employee and employer. There is no promise of any kind by the employer contained in this manual. Regardless of what the manual says or provides, the employer promises nothing and remains free to change wages, benefits, policies, procedures, working conditions, and any other terms or conditions of employment without having to consult anyone and without anyone’s agreement. Except as otherwise provided by written agreement or prohibited by law, the employer continues to have the absolute power to terminate any employee with or without good cause and without prior notice.