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Human Resources Questions for Dentists: Handling CE pay, and pay on weekend holidays

Feb. 13, 2017
Human resource experts for dentists from Bent Ericksen & Associates discuss how to pay for continuing education time, and whether dental practices must pay for holidays that fall on a weekend.
Rebecca Boartfield and Tim Twigg, Human Resources Experts

Handling a small business and issues that come up with staff members can be daunting for some dentists. After all, they went to dental school, not business school. That's why the experts from Bent Erickson & Associates are here to help. Because no dentist wants to get in trouble due to mishandling staff issues.

QUESTION: When an employee attends a continuing education event (CE), does that time count toward overtime?

ANSWER: Yes. Travel time and seminar time are both considered “work” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Therefore, all hours worked performing normal duties during the week the CE event is attended, plus all hours spent traveling (if applicable), and hours spent in the training will be added together for total hours worked. If that total is above a daily and/or weekly overtime threshold (over eight and/or over 40 depending on the state), overtime must be paid.

QUESTION: When an employee attends a CE event, is paid a Different Capacity Work Rate (DCWR), and works overtime for the week, what rate is used to calculate time and one half?

ANSWER: When an employee, in a single workweek, works at two or more different types of work for which different straight-time rates have been established, the regular rate for that week is the “weighted average.” That means that the straight-time earnings from all hours worked (including overtime hours) at each different rate are added together and the total is divided by the total number of hours worked at all jobs. The employee is due one half of that rate for all overtime worked.

QUESTION: Am I required to pay for a holiday if it falls on a normal day off for employees?

ANSWER: By law, no, but your policy may dictate otherwise. Most dental practices deny holiday pay when it is a non-work day for employees. But this must be specified in a holiday policy first. The policy should clearly state that no pay will be provided when the holiday is not a normal day of work. Once established, all employees should be treated the same.

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About the Author

Rebecca Boartfield and Tim Twigg | Human Resources Experts

Tim Twigg is president and Rebecca Boartfield is a human resources 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