By Ben Assad Mirza, Esq., LLM, MPHA
As a healthcare employer or employee, it’s important to understand the various laws and regulations that govern employment practices. Employment law aims to protect the rights of workers and prevent discrimination, harassment, and unfair treatment in the workplace. Here are some key areas that every healthcare employer and employee should know about.
- Employment Contracts
It is important to have all employed Physicians under contract, for there is a lot that is riding on them. For example:
– Should a physician be able to moonlight, while working fulltime?
– Should a physician have the obligation of keeping business processes confidential?
– Should a physician be able to work for a competitor?
– Who has the ultimate obligation to bill properly?
Employers should provide written employment contracts that outline the terms and conditions of employment, including job responsibilities, compensation, benefits, working hours, and termination procedures. Employees should carefully review and understand the terms before signing.
- Whistleblower Protection
Employees who report illegal activities, fraud, or safety violations in good faith are protected by whistleblower laws. Employers should have policies in place to address whistleblower complaints and ensure non-retaliation against employees who report concerns.
- Anti-Discrimination Laws
State and federal laws prohibit discrimination against employees based on race, gender, age, religion, national origin, or disability. Healthcare employers should ensure that their hiring practices and workplace policies do not discriminate against any protected class. Employees who experience discrimination should report it immediately to their employer or to the appropriate agency.
- Family and Medical Leave
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires covered employers to provide eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year for certain family or medical reasons, including the birth or adoption of a child, caring for a family member with a serious health condition, or the employee’s own serious health condition. Employers should have a clear policy on how to request and take advantage of FMLA leave.
- Occupational Safety and Health
Healthcare employees face specific safety and health hazards in the workplace. Employers have a duty to provide their employees with a safe working environment. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets forth specific regulations for the healthcare industry, including standards for exposure to bloodborne pathogens, hazardous waste, and workplace violence.
- Employee Privacy and Confidentiality
Healthcare employees have access to sensitive patient information, so it’s essential to maintain patient confidentiality. Employers should develop policies and procedures to protect patient privacy and ensure that employees understand the importance of maintaining confidentiality. Employers must also comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy and security rules.
Healthcare employers and employees must be aware of their rights and responsibilities under various employment laws. Maintaining compliance with these laws is not only a legal obligation but also contributes to a positive work environment for all members of the healthcare team. Consultation with an employment law attorney or professional is a valuable resource for staying up to date on changes in employment law.
Join us for a Webinar on: What Every Healthcare Employer & Employee Needs to Know about Employment Law.
Date/Time: 6:30 p.m. (EST) on Tuesday, June 20, 2023
Please click this link and register for the free Legal Webinar: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwtcO6qqTMsE9edLjz1wnlwy4AesdXXYoOq
If you have any questions, contact Ben Mirza, Mirza|Healthcare Law Partners, at cell/text (954)445-5503, or email BAM@MirzaHealthLaw.com.