G&A can help healthcare business owners avoid costly consequences of noncompliance
If you’re feeling buried under the growing weight of government regulations impacting your small to mid-sized healthcare business, you’re not alone. In fact, nearly half of all small business owners ranked government regulations as a “very serious” or “somewhat serious” issue in the NIFB’s National Small Business Poll.
The reality is, constantly evolving local, state, and federal regulations dictate how healthcare companies – from hospitals to private practices – must treat their employees, potential employees, and patients. Whereas a large healthcare facility might have a team dedicated to ensuring human resources compliance, the owner of a private practice is typically responsible for knowing what regulations apply and how to maintain compliance – while also juggling the many responsibilities of running a practice.
When small businesses break the rules, they aren’t necessarily being neglectful. Often, they don’t understand or know the regulations or potential consequences. But failure to comply with the applicable regulations can result in government agency reviews, costly claims, and even lawsuits.
In other words, just because you don’t know the requirements exist, doesn’t relieve you of your obligation to abide by them or protect you from potential consequences.
Partnering with G&A Partners, a professional employer organization (PEO), is the most effective way to ensure your healthcare business is complying with today’s complex employment and workplace laws. Our commitment to helping companies grow includes providing assistance to companies in meeting regulatory compliance obligations with federal, state, and local workplace requirements.
Examples of common compliance violations
Consider these common compliance violations and learn how our G&A compliance experts can help you:
An administrative assistant who has worked at an oral surgery practice for 37 years celebrates her 65th birthday. Four days later, she is terminated based on the company’s policy to require employees to retire at age 65.
Potential noncompliance consequence: The worker files a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) based on the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which protects workers who are 40 years or older from employment discrimination based on age. Eventually, she also files a lawsuit against the company. The company agrees to pay $47,000 to settle the case and must also provide anti-discrimination training to its employees.
How G&A can help: At G&A, our HR experts will help your team understand the EEOC’s role in protecting employees from discrimination, harassment, bullying, and other forms of victimization. G&A’s learning management system also contains online training programs about harassment and discrimination that are available for managers.
Potential savings with G&A: $47,000 plus legal fees
Wage payment violations
The owner of a dental practice works his employees 50 hours each week. He pays them for 50 hours, but he only pays based on the employees’ regular, straight time rates rather than incorporating any overtime pay.
Potential noncompliance consequences: The owner has violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Several of the practice’s employees file “Wage & Hour” charges to the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor, which in turn lead to audits of all payroll records. The employer is found to be noncompliant. The owner is required to repay three years of back pay because it was determined that the violations were knowingly and willfully committed.
How G&A can help: Our HR compliance experts will assist in reviewing your employee classifications (exempt vs. nonexempt) and keep you informed of applicable federal or state wage and overtime standards. We’ll also help you maintain accurate records and put procedures in place to avoid mistakes.
Potential savings with G&A: Approximately $30,000 in back pay per employee, based on an hourly rate of $32 per employee.
A compliance officer conducts an OSHA inspection while investigating a recent complaint at an outpatient facility. While reviewing the facility’s OSHA 300 logs, the officer uncovers issues indicating an unusual amount of needlestick injuries and bloodborne pathogens exposure.
Potential noncompliance consequence: The officer issues serious citations for several offenses, including failure to provide employee training on the hazards of a cancer-causing chemical and failure to immediately discard contaminated sharps in the appropriate containers. Additionally, the facility was issued multiple other-than-serious violations, including incomplete OSHA 300 logs and the failure to provide training on protocols related to exposures to blood and other potentially infectious materials. OSHA fines the facility $55,000.
How G&A can help: G&A’s team offers expert guidance to help you and your team stay up-to-date with local, state, and federal laws, including workplace safety standards established by OSHA. Additionally, G&A’s comprehensive online learning management system offers a wide variety of courses, making it easy for your employees to complete required training and for you to track your staff’s progress so you can be proactive in maintaining a safe and complaint workplace.
Potential savings with G&A: $55,000 in penalties
Potential discrimination during the hiring process
During a job interview, the owner of a plastic surgery clinic casually asks the applicant if she has kids. The applicant is not hired, and the candidate assumes it is because she indicated that she has three young children.
Potential noncompliance consequence: The applicant files a discrimination claim with the EEOC and, ultimately, a suit against the clinic. The company is forced to pay extensive legal fees to defend against the suit.
How G&A can help: G&A’s HR advisors can conduct in-depth training to improve your team’s interviewing skills. As a premium service, G&A also offers structured interview guides, which can reduce unconscious bias and help ensure you’re asking the same questions as well as the right questions during the interview process.
Potential savings with G&A: Settlement averages for discrimination claims are approximately $40,000, but litigated cases are typically six-figure payouts and may go as high as seven figures, including damages.
When you partner with G&A, our compliance team can provide assistance in navigating the complex regulatory landscape, potentially saving you from costly penalties, claims, and lawsuits, and giving you the time to focus on growing your business.
How G&A Can Help
G&A Partners offers access to HR experts with years of experience helping businesses develop their employees, improve their workplace cultures, implement new HR processes and procedures, and more. Schedule a consultation with one of our trusted business advisors to learn more.