January 2010
Employee Files & Records

In case you haven't heard, discrimination complaints of all types (race, age, sex, disability, etc.) have increased dramatically during the past 2 years.   The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has noted a 26% increase in the number of charges filed and experts agree this trend is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.  Once a compliant is made, information and documents contained within the employee's personnel file may be subject to review by sources outside your practice.  Do you know what types of employee records you have to maintain?  Are you aware of how long you have to retain copies of various employee records?  Are there certain documents you need to save longer than others?  filing cabinetWhat about documents you are not supposed to keep?  Can you keep all employee records in one file?  Should medical doctor notes or I-9 employment eligibility documents be kept in the employee's "personnel file"?  What about payroll and tax records?  How about correspondence and records generated during an internal investigation?  At what point can you start destroying records?  When and how must documents be destroyed?  Are there specific laws pertaining to document shredding?  Are there penalties for not having the proper employee files?  (click here to read the entire article)





Chemotherapy is becoming more widely available in companion animal practice.

This is in part due to the strengthening of the human-animal bond. Pets have now reached family member status, and as a consequence, pet owners wish to prolong cancer patient survival time and preserve quality of life. However, chemotherapy agents are cytotoxic and thus have associated health risks in both the occupational

and family settings. A preliminary survey of 13 questions addressing chemotherapy safety in companion animal practice was distributed to a number of oncology practices in the United States. The survey revealed key areas of strength and weakness pertaining to chemotherapy safety in companion animal practice. This article summarizes chemotherapy safety issues and provides guidelines for the implementation of a safe chemotherapy protocol. (click here to read entire article)




Would you like to be able to choose whether you breed a colt or a filly? American breeders will be given exactly that choice for the 2010 season using "sexed semen"- but UK breeders are skeptical.

The world's first sex-selected horse was bred by US-based XY Inc in 1998. Now US companies Sexing Technologies and Equine Reproduction Innovations are collaborating to make sexed semen commercially available for the first time. Using a "flow cytometer", Sexing Technologies is able to sort the chromosomes in the semen into X (female), Y (male) and undetermined. The company claims the process has a 93% accuracy rate.  The cost of the procedure could not be confirmed but is likely to run into the thousands.


VBA is interested to hear what you think about this "advancement in technology."  If you'd like to weigh in on the subject, just click the "Send Us Feedback" link below and give us your thoughts.  We'll share our readers' responses (anonymously) in a future issue of News To Use.





Just before the holidays, President Obama signed legislation extending the COBRA premium subsidy period from nine months to fifteen months.  This comes as welcome news to those individuals whose COBRA premium subsidy had recently expired.  Under the new legislation, any individual whose coverage has lapsed on or after October 31, 2009 may retroactively pay his or her portion of the subsidized premium no later than the later of 60 days following December 21, 2009, or 30 days following notice of the extension's availability.  If an individual has already paid the full premium cost, s/he may receive a refund of the overpayment or apply the credit towards future premiums.  In addition, the eligibility period for the COBRA premium subsidy for involuntarily terminated employees was extended from December 31, 2009 to February 28, 2010.  There is no change in the length of time for which eligible individuals may elect COBRA coverage. 


Employers, or their COBRA administrators, are required to send a notice containing these changes.  If you have any questions regarding the requirements for complying with the new COBRA changes, please contact us.   




Benjamin Disraeli, the great 19th century British Prime Minister, first uttered the immortal words "change is inevitable."   Here at VBA, we are also experiencing change.   We are very pleased to announce Cynthia L. Prisco has joined VBA as its Executive Assistant.  Cindy will replace Chris Twiname who decided to pursue other interests after supporting VBA for the past 8 years.   In this capacity, Cindy will be responsible for all administrative and operational tasks, including client service and scheduling, event planning, marketing, database management, financial recordkeeping, and computer technology support.  Cindy has several years experience providing excellent client support and administrative assistance and we trust you will enjoy working with her.  Her most recent assignment was as a fundraising Development Associate for the Thomas Edison State College Foundation.  Although Chris will be sorely missed, we are all excited and pleased to have someone like Cindy step in immediately.   

Veterinary Business Advisors
Countryside Plaza North
Bldg E, Ste. 1403
361 Route 31
Flemington, NJ 08822
Phone (908) 782-4426
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