Human Resources

Human Resources Tips for Dental Practices: Workers' comp, and rescinding a job offer

Nov. 6, 2013
HR experts answer dentists' human resources questions


QUESTION: We recently made a job offer to someone, but we now want to rescind it. Is there anything illegal about that?

ANSWER: A job offer and the subsequent acceptance can form a contract between the employer and employee. However, if the offer is rescinded before the person accepts, then no claim for breach of contract can be filed. If the offer is accepted and then rescinded, some liability may exist based on the doctrine “promissory estoppel.” This would be particularly true if the applicant suffered in some way as a result of rescinding the job offer.

Furthermore, if the reason for rescinding the offer is based on illegal reasons, then liability can exist under federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination. The withdrawal would need to be based on legitimate business reasons in order to avoid running afoul with any of these laws protecting individuals.

QUESTION: We had an employee get injured on the job, but he doesn’t want to file a workers’ compensation claim. What am I as the employer required to do?

ANSWER: In general, you are legally required to report injuries to your workers’ compensation carrier, although workers’ compensation rules and the reporting timelines vary by state. This is true whether or not your employee wants this to happen.

Check with your carrier for their specific requirements on reporting injuries. It is best to allow your carrier to manage the situation from the very beginning. It’s much more advantageous for an injury to be reported and later denied coverage, if that’s the case, than to fail to report at all.

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Human Resources Tips for Dental Practices is provided by Tim Twigg and Rebecca Crane of Bent Ericksen & Associates. Tim Twigg is president and Rebecca Crane is a human resource compliance consultant with Bent Ericksen & Associates. For 30 years, the company has been a leading authority in human resource and personnel issues, helping dentists deal successfully with the ever-changing and complex labor laws. To receive a complimentary copy of the company’s quarterly newsletter or to learn more about its services, call (800) 679-2760 or visit