Social Media Policies

Technology’s rapid advancement allows people to share, spread, and gather information at faster rates than ever before. Millions of individuals residing around the globe update statuses, tweet, and post to social media profiles every day. The rising influence of social media and the instantaneous publication of information on social media platforms creates the need for businesses to protect themselves. Every business should have a social media policy in its employee manual for new staff to sign and return. 

Read more

Employee Interviewing Dos and Don’ts

There are numerous state and federal anti-discrimination laws designed to assure that employers hire based upon skill, rather than stereotypes. Below is a list of questions that employers should avoid when conducting a new employee interview:
Continue reading

Preventing Embezzlement

There are many opportunities for employee embezzlement to occur in a business or practice. There are, however, certain steps you can take to help prevent employee embezzlement. You must be diligent.

  • Make smart hiring decisions
  • Screen all potential employees
  • Conduct background checks on all employees
  • Educate yourself on how employees embezzle
  • Protect your signature and identity
  • Learn how to use your computer system
  • Check your day sheets, audit changes, preview daily reports and question all adjustments
  • Make sure to verify all credit card charges
  • Be visible, vary your schedule, practice what you preach

A business or practice owner must take the necessary steps to prevent embezzlement. Review your policies and procedures, and begin implementing the specific preventative safeguards.

Must Have Items for Every Chiropractic Practice

In the last few months, we have received substantially similar questions regarding “MUST HAVE” practice items in order to avoid the violation of state or federal law.

In addition, we have addressed many of the same questions regarding employee non-disclosure agreements, protection of patient lists, and how to protect the actual name of a practice.

As a result, below is a checklist of items that EVERY PRACTICE MUST be aware of, have, and implement in order to limit its liability exposure.

Items to Review and Prepare
1. Your employee manual
2. Your new employee package (see below list)
3. A general review of your OSHA standards [new manual with 2015 updates]
4. Non-disclosure and non-solicitation signed by every employee [and a non-compete signed by key employees]
5. Website disclaimers/privacy terms
6. Intellectual Property (IP) protection (protect your name, logos, slogans) [trademark/service marks filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office]
7. Assignment of website design as to IP [from your web designer to you].

NEW EMPLOYEE CHECKLIST

❒ Application for Employment

❒ Substance Abuse Policy and Procedure Manual

❒ Notification and Authorization Form for Employment
Investigative/Consumer/Credit Report

❒ Criminal History Record Information Consent Form

❒ Background Check Authorization and Release Form

❒ Employee Direct Deposit Authorization Form

❒ Employment Reference Check

❒ Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9

❒ IRS Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate Form W-4

❒ Withholding Allowance Form

❒ IRS Wage and Tax Statement Form W-2
If you have any questions regarding the items listed above, or the actual preparation of the items listed above, please feel free to call us.

 

 

 

Stuart J. Oberman, Esq. handles a wide range of legal issues for the chiropractic profession, including: employment law, cyber security breaches, practice sales, real estate transactions, lease agreements, OSHA compliance, chiropractic board complaints, and professional corporations.

For questions or comments regarding this article please call (770) 554-1400 or visit www.obermanlaw.com
If you would like Stuart J. Oberman, Esq. to speak at an event, please contact Katharine Drum, Marketing Coordinator (kath@obermanlaw.com).

STAYING CLEAR OF WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION PROBLEMS IN YOUR BUSINESS

OSHA is becoming very active in the day to day operations of a business, especially in the enforcement of employees’ rights. An area that is surfacing in the business is OSHA’s enforcement of the whistleblower statute. It may not be well-known, but OSHA oversees whistleblower protection investigations not only for its own jurisdiction, but for 12 other regulatory areas.

If an employee in a practice reports a violation of Federal law (OSHA, Labor, etc.), the employee report and the violation of federal law (e.g., an OSHA complaint) is protected from retaliation by the business owner. An innocent personnel action taken by a business owner may be seen as a whistleblower retaliation by OSHA.

The following actions by a practice owner may be considered retaliatory action, and be a violation of Federal law:

❒ Firing or laying off an employee

❒ Assigning employee to undesirable shifts

❒ Blacklisting the employeedocumentation

❒ Demoting the employee

❒ Denying the overtime or promotion to the employee

❒ Disciplining the employee

❒ Denial of benefits to the employee

❒ Intimidation by the practice owner

❒ Reassigning work to the employee

❒ Reducing pay or hours of the employee

It is strongly recommended that before any personnel matters are handled by a business owner or office manager, it is always prudent to seek professional guidance in order to avoid violation of state or federal law.

 
Stuart J. Oberman, Esq. handles a wide range of legal issues for businesses including transitions and sales, real estate transactions, lease agreements, employment law and entity formation.

For questions or comments regarding this article please call (770) 554-1400 or visit www.obermanlaw.com

If you would like Stuart J. Oberman, Esq. to speak at an event, please contact Katharine Drum, Marketing Coordinator (kath@obermanlaw.com).

Tips for Cyber Security in Your Veterinary Practice: PART II

With the risk of a cyber security breach increasing on a daily basis, below are some tips that will help a practice owner maintain the security that they need in order to protect safeguard data.

Plan for the Unexpected

❒ Unless your confidential data is totally disconnected from the internet, you must install a firewall to protect against intrusions from outside sources.

❒ Software firewalls are included with some popular operating systems, providing protection at the installation stage.

❒ Alternatively, separate firewall software is widely available from computer security developers.

❒ Large practices that use a Local Area Network (LAN) should consider a hardware firewall.

❒ A hardware firewall sits between LAN and the Internet, providing centralized management of firewall settings.

Install and Maintain Anti-virus Software

❒ Use an anti-virus product that provides continuously updated protection against viruses, malware, and other code that can attack your computers through web downloads, CDs, email, and flash drives.

❒ Keep anti-virus software up-to-date.

❒ Most anti-virus software automatically generates reminders about these updates, and many are configurable to allow for automated updating.

 
Stuart J. Oberman, Esq. handles a wide range of legal issues for the veterinary profession including employment law, cyber security, practice sales, real estate transactions, lease agreements, OSHA compliance, veterinary board complaints, and entity formation.

For questions or comments regarding this article please call (770) 554-1400 or visit www.obermanlaw.comIf you would like Stuart J. Oberman, Esq. to speak at an event, please contact Katharine Drum, Marketing Coordinator (kath@obermanlaw.com).

Tips for Cyber Security in Your Veterinary Practice: PART I

With the risk of a cyber-security breach increasing on a daily basis, below are some tips that will help a practice owner maintain the security that they need in order to protect patient information.

Use Strong Passwords and Change Them Regularly

Selecting Passwords

Choose a password that is not easily guessed. Below are some examples of strong password characteristics:

❒ At least eight characters in length (the longer the better).

❒ A combination of upper case and lower case letters, one number, and at least one special character, such as a punctuation mark.

Strong passwords should not include personal information, such as:

❒ Birthdate

❒ Names of self, family members, or pets

❒ Social Security Number

❒ Anything that is on your social networking sites or could otherwise be easily discovered by others.

Updating Passwords

Configure your systems so that passwords must be changed on a regular basis.

Resetting Passwords

To discourage staff from writing down their passwords, develop a password reset process to provide quick assistance in case of forgotten passwords. This process could involve:

❒ Allowing two different staff members to be authorized to reset passwords

❒ Selecting a product that has built-in password reset capabilities.

Limit Network Access

❒ Prohibit staff from installing software without prior approval.

❒ When a wireless router is used, set it up to operate only in encrypted mode.

❒ Prohibit casual network access by visitors.

❒ Check to make sure file sharing, instant messaging, and other peer-to-peer applications have not been installed without explicit review and approval.

Control Physical Access

❒ Limit the chances that devices (e.g., laptops, handhelds, desktops, servers, thumb drives, CCs, backup tapes) may be tampered with, lost, or stolen.

❒ Document and enforce policies limiting physical access to devices and information.

❒ Keep machines in locked rooms.

❒ Manage keys to facilities.

❒ Restrict removal of devices from a secure area.

 

 

 

Stuart J. Oberman, Esq. handles a wide range of legal issues for the veterinary profession including employment law, cyber security, practice sales, real estate transactions, lease agreements, OSHA compliance, veterinary board complaints, and entity formation.
For questions or comments regarding this article please call (770) 554-1400 or visit www.obermanlaw.com
If you would like Stuart J. Oberman, Esq. to speak at an event, please contact Katharine Drum, Marketing Coordinator (kath@obermanlaw.com).

Tips for Cyber Security in Your Chiropractic Practice

With the risk of a cyber-security breach increasing on a daily basis, below are some tips that will help a practice owner maintain the security that they need in order to protect patient information.

Establish a Security Culture

❒ Build a security-minded organizational culture so that good habits and practices become automatic.

❒ Conduct information security education and training frequently.

❒ A practice owner should be the security leader in the practice and set a good example in attitude and action.

❒ Instill taking responsibility for information security as one of your practice’s core values.

Protect Mobile Devices

❒ Ensure your mobile devices are equipped with strong authentication and access controls.

❒ Ensure laptops have password protection

❒ Enable password protection on handheld devices (if available). Take extra physical control precautions over the device if password protection is not provided.

❒ Protect wireless transmissions from intrusion.

❒ Do not transmit unencrypted Protected Health Information (PHI) across public networks (e.g., Internet, Wi-Fi).

❒ Where it is absolutely necessary to commit PHI to a mobile device or remove a device from a secure area, encrypt the data.

❒ Do not use mobile devices that cannot support encryption.

❒ Develop and enforce policies specifying the circumstances under which devices may be removed from the facility.

❒ Take extra care to prevent unauthorized view of the PHI displayed on a mobile device.\

 
Hopefully, this information will provide some simple security tips in order to prevent a violation and/or security breach which can devastate a practice.

 

iStock_000015498430Small
Stuart J. Oberman, Esq. handles a wide range of legal issues for the chiropractic profession, including: employment law, cyber security breaches, practice sales, real estate transactions, lease agreements, OSHA compliance, chiropractic board complaints, and professional corporations.

For questions or comments regarding this article  please call (770) 554-1400 or visit www.obermanlaw.com
If you would like Stuart J. Oberman, Esq. to speak at an event, please contact Katharine Drum, Marketing Coordinator (kath@obermanlaw.com).

What Every Business Owner Should Know About the Termination of Employees

Unfortunately, employee termination is often a necessary part of running a successful business. Recent statistics show that the federal government collected $350,000,000.00 in fines in one calendar year for employment law violations and that the average settlement payment to a disgruntled employee in a wrongful termination suit was $25,000.00.
Business owners should familiarize themselves with the applicable laws and consult an attorney prior to any employee termination. This will reduce exposure to time consuming and costly litigation and allow business owners to continue doing what they do best: running and managing their business.

Generally, employees without an employment contract are considered at will. Employees at will can be fired by an employer at any time, for any reason or for no reason at all with no resulting liability. Conversely, these “at will” employees are free to end their employment at any time and for any reason.
To prevent subjecting yourself and your business to litigation regarding an employee termination, it is crucial that employers accurately and objectively document each employees performance issue that arises in the course of the employment. Employers should keep a personnel file on every employee and maintain documents concerning employee issues, problems, and discipline.
The failure to property document employee issues, problems, and discipline may subject the owner of a business to unexpected liability.

 

 

iStock_000038374680XLarge_Resized

 

Stuart J. Oberman, Esq. handles a wide range of legal issues for the business community including business transitions, sales, real estate transactions, lease agreements, employment law and entity formation.
For questions or comments regarding this article please call (770) 554-1400 or visit  www.obermanlaw.com
If you would like Stuart J. Oberman, Esq. to speak at an event to your organization, please contact Katharine Drum, Marketing Coordinator (kath@obermanlaw.com)
1 2