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"Trouble" at the dental office: Human resources headaches

Aug. 18, 2021
In the dental profession, there are lots of questions surrounding what's legal between employees and employers and what's not. We've rounded up our best advice for some common HR quandaries.

Issues concerning employees and employment abound at dental offices, and through the years DentistryIQ has addressed lots of them—from legal questions about losing pay for a no-show to frustrations about staff forgetting to clock in and out.

Here we’ve rounded up and updated some of the most popular Troubleshooters about human resources issues. As always, if you have a dilemma an expert can help with, send your question to [email protected]. To view more Troubleshooters, visit DentistryIQ.com and search "Troubleshooter." Check out our other roundups on workplace drama and managing patient issues.

Reduced pay for a no-show?

The hygienists at this office have followed the clock in/out system for many years, but new management wants them to clock out if they get an appointment cancellation or no-show. They want to know if it’s legal to be paid clerical fees if they decide to stay and help around the office but don’t produce.

Is it legal to make RDHs clock out for no-shows?

Revoked benefits as punishment

Is it legal for a practice to withhold or revoke an earned benefit as a “punishment" for lapses like not writing up a chart?

Can dentist revoke benefits as punishment?

Do employees get paid if the office is closed?

This dental employee wonders if there’s a legal obligation for a dentist-owner to pay employees when the office is closed during the dentist's absence.

Must employees be paid during dentist's time off?

Not everyone gets PTO. Is that OK?

Some of this dental professional’s colleagues get paid time off while others don’t, and she wonders about the fairness and legality of this.

Some dental staff given vacation while others denied

When employees forget to clock in and out

This dentist-owner is frustrated that his employees continuously forget to clock in and out. He doesn’t want to be harsh, but he’s running out of options.

How to handle staff who forget to clock in and out

On employee dress codes

When it comes to an issue like a public-facing employee wearing a nose ring at work, what are the person’s rights? And what about the employer’s rights to set standards for workplace appearance?

Can dental employer ask for nose ring removal?