Countdown to 2017

The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to evaluate the policies and procedures in your practice. One of the best places to start is with your employee handbook. Ask yourself…

Will you need to hire new employees in 2017?
Do you have outdated benefits or bonus structures in your current manual?
Have you had problems with Texas Workforce Commission Unemployment Insurance Claims in 2016?
Are you prepared to make necessary employee terminations in 2017?
Does your disciplinary policy work for your current employee situations?
Do you have policies about background, reference, and credit checks?
Will you be compliant with the DOL Overtime Rule change if the ruling is upheld?
Have your organizational chart and comprehensive job descriptions been updated this year?
Have you added any new equipment that requires additional safety or usage procedures to be provided to
team members?
Were there any legislative changes that need to be implemented?

Another question you should ask yourself: “Where do I want my practice to go this year?”

If your outdated policies and procedures are hindering your practice growth, the first of the year is a great time to take a look at procedures that could be effecting your practice.

Does your Front Desk Administrator forget to return calls?
Is your Assistant making critical errors when ordering inventory?
Is your hygienist surfing social media when she isn’t seeing patients, instead of doing recalls?
Does your Office Manager approve too many days of PTO at a time, leaving you short-handed?
Do you have days where your schedule isn’t filled due to employee neglect or error?

Many of these problems can be solved through training and updating your position-specific employee procedures. A new year is the time for a fresh start, and building a foundation for growth will increase your chances of success in 2017.



A quick note…

On November 22nd, a US District Court Judge of the Eastern District of Texas temporarily barred the new Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Overtime Rule (previously scheduled to go into effect on December 1st) by issuing a preliminary injuction. The suit was filed by 21 states and over 50 business groups, consolidated for judicial efficiency purposes. Judge Mazzant ruled that the Department of Labor overstepped its boundaries when issuing the new regulation, and deemed that changes to FLSA must be done by an act of Congress.

What this means for you:

If you have exempt employees (determined by a salaries test as well as a test of duties; see Summer 2016 edition for details), you may keep their current pay structure for the time being. If you have already made changes to comply with the new regulation, you may either
maintain the new salary structure in the event the ruling does become law at some point in the future, or you may revert to your previous pay structures, provided the employee is truly exempt according to the duties test. It’s worth an evaluation to be sure.