Academy of Chiropractic Personal Injury & Primary Spine Care Program
Quickie Consult 843
Infrastructure 204 I
“A Nightmare Averted”
This past weekend we were in “crisis mode” with one of our doctors who I wanted to drop and “anvil” on his head (see picture above). It was only by the good fortune that the labor lawyer I work with had the flu and was home all weekend and after much begging by me, this was gracefully resolved. Basically, the (schmuck) doctor didn’t listen, follow the rules and was almost taught a lesson the VERY HARD & EXPENSIVE way.
This was pertaining to a staff member who had an inappropriate relationship (at many levels) with a patient and was confronted by the patient’s wife with texting verification, along with other serial infractions over the last few months that went ignored. This is also why you never ignore the little things, as they often are a “tell” for the big things to come later.
This doctor, who I will formally name Little Schmuck, purchased my lawyer’s staff office policy over a year ago and it sat on his shelf not having any of his staff sign them. That is what makes it so bad, because he paid for a solution and his laziness, ineptitude, ingnorance or whatever the reason, was not utilized as MANDATED by both me and usually state regulation.
This doctor is in an “At-Will” employment state. Please understand that whether or not you are in an “at-will” state, you are still subject to a lawsuit for wrongful termination unless the employee clearly signs what they are agreeing to. That is what the “staff office policy” does for you. This is the 5th or 6th time this year I have received a phone call with the doctor losing too much sleep (while concurrently crapping their pants) about possibly getting sued for wrongful termiation and what to do. This circumstance was the least eggregious!
I was able to work with the labor lawyer this weekend, who put in about 15 hours to create a “severance agreement.” That document tells a staff member you are about to fire them and in exchange for severance pay, they are signing an agreement stating they are agreeing to being terminated and will not sue you (basically, that is what it says).
This agreement is standard in the corporate workplace and mitigates litigation. It will become the standard business practice for all of my clients it the future and I will have it up for you to purchase in a few days.
SO… You MUST have all staff sign the office policy to protect you from your staff and it is SIGNED by every W-2 employee (including yourself verifying you have 1 standard). Upon firing someone, a severance agreement must ensue, protecting you from future frivolous lawsuits.
Mark Studin DC, FASBE(C), DAAPM, DAAMLP
Adjunct Associate Professor of Chiropractic, University of Bridgeport, College of Chiropractic
Adjunct Professor, Division of Clinical Sciences, Texas Chiropractic College
Educational Presenter, Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education Joint Partnership with the State University of New York at Buffalo, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
Academy of Chiropractic
US Chiropractic Directory