Human Resources

Human Resources for Dental Practices: Can dentist reduce employee pay? What is an OSHA 300A form?

Dec. 9, 2013
Human resource experts Tim Twigg and Rebecca Crane answer your questions.

By Tim Twigg and Rebecca Crane

QUESTION: Is there a law that prohibits me from reducing my employee’s wages? If not, how much notice of a change in pay rate do I have to provide to those affected by the rate reduction?

ANSWER: There is no specific employment law restricting you from reducing your employee’s wages, but there are parameters around how it is to be done.

No reduction of pay can happen retroactively – ever. The employee has a right to receive compensation based on the agreement in place until notified of a change and that change goes into effect. Employers who are “at-will” must notify the employee of the change and the prospective date upon which it is in effect. Ideally this is done in writing for documentation purposes. The employee accepts the new terms and conditions by continuing to work. If not, the employee quits.

Rate reductions cannot result in paying employees less than minimum wage and may not adversely affect employees who fall in a protected class.

QUESTION: What are the OSHA Forms 300 and 300A?

ANSWER: If you employed 10 or fewer employees at all times during the last calendar year, you do not need to keep OSHA injury and illness records. The OSHA Form 300 is used to record all injuries and illnesses. There are some exceptions to what gets logged such as injuries or illnesses that require first aid treatment only and other specific injuries or illnesses due to privacy issues. The OSHA Form 300A must be completed and posted between Feb. 1and April 30 of each year. This form contains a summary of the total number of job-related injuries and illnesses that occurred the previous year.

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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