Dentaltown June 2019 - 91

by Paul Edwards
Paul Edwards is the CEO and co-founder of CEDR HR
Solutions-a leading provider of on-demand HR support
and employee handbooks for dental practices across the
United States. He is the author of the HR Base Camp blog
(hrbasecamp.com), where he shares practical ideas at
the intersection of managing employees, leadership and
compliance, for better thinking and HR decision-making.
Contact: pauledwards@cedrsolutions.com
or 866-414-6056.

A pregnancy at your practice affects your entire team.
Believe it or not, legal protections for pregnant employees start before
an employee becomes pregnant. Further, employee maternity leave is one
of the most rigorous tests of the policies in your employee handbook. It's
important, therefore, to have consistent, legally compliant policies in place
before an employee starts making accommodation or leave requests as a
result of a pregnancy.
Though by no means an exhaustive look at the subject, this article
provides a brief overview of policies and protocols that both protect your
practice and provide for your expectant employees.

Before your employee becomes pregnant
Look closely at the policies in your employee handbook and verify that they are
applicable and complete with regard to potential employee maternity needs.
Are your policies clear and easy to understand? Do they provide for a standard
amount of leave? Does your handbook specify whether or not an employee can still earn
bonuses, or if your office will continue to pay for benefits while they are on leave? What
about the process for returning to work when the leave is over? Are there additional
applicable state and/or local laws you must follow? Has your handbook clearly notified
employees that there may be risks in the workplace for someone who is pregnant or is
trying to become pregnant?
The "maternity leave policies" in your employee handbook should not just be specific
to new mothers and should also cover general leave of absence requests that can also be
extended to cover paternity leave and cases of adoption. When dealing with a pregnancy
in your office is essentially a question of assessing potential risks and providing reasonable
accommodations when necessary, parental leave is usually provided as an opportunity
to bond with a new family member. Maintaining a policy that offers parental leave for
new mothers but not for new fathers can therefore be construed as sex discrimination.
You'll also want to be sure that you have been consistently documenting your employee
interactions and correction procedures should you ever need to discipline or terminate
a pregnant employee-or an employee in any other protected category, for that matter.

dentaltown.com \\ JUNE 2019

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Dentaltown June 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Dentaltown June 2019

Dentaltown June 2019 - Intro
Dentaltown June 2019 - Cover1
Dentaltown June 2019 - Cover2
Dentaltown June 2019 - 1
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