June 2012



Phone (908) 782-4426 - info@veterinarybusinessadvisors.com

Strategies For Preventing Workplace Harassment & Discrimination


Can you answer this question correctly?

  • Arlene, Paul and Trish are surgical technicians who work together as a team. Arlene, frequently makes sexual comments to Paul, such as questioning him about his sexual exploits and comments on his physique. Paul seems to find the treatment mildly amusing, but Trish finds it very offensive and wants to avoid the situation. Trish may be a victim of harassment even though none of Arlene's comments are directed towards her. True or False?

If you are unsure about the answer or your management radar tells you that there are other employee activities/undercurrents within your Practice that could result in a liability, then you need to take action before it is too late. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ('EEOC') charge statistics show there were 30,500 harassment charges filed in 2011, which is almost a 30% increase in the last 11 years. 57% of survey respondents to a Society for Human Resources Management Conference stated that they have been sued by an employee or former employee. Let's not be one of those statistics.


Nonprofits vs. Private Practitioners: The New Hatfields & McCoys?

Just as the Hatfields and McCoys fued over an animal, so do nonprofit clinics and private practices quarrel over access to patients. Private practice owners feel threatened by nonprofit clinics, because they view them as having an unfair financial competitive advantage. With the aid of charitable contributions, nonprofit clinics can offer veterinary services at lower fees, which private practitioners believe leads to loss of clients and devaluation of veterinary services. The key to competing with nonprofits is educating clients about the value of full service veterinary care and the importance of establishing a trusting relationship with a veterinary practice. 


(Click here to read full article)

Hot Topic!

Should owners have to comply by the same pet care discount policies as their employees?


If practice policy is that employees are expected to receive and pay invoices (though discounted by 20%) when their pets receive care or they buy products at cost, then it sets a bad example if the rules don't apply to owners.  Owners are of course responsible for the payment of all the practice's expenses, but if I follow that logic through, then the owner should be able to take anything in the clinic and walk out the door with it because he/she bought and paid for it.  That's a slippery slope, because if there is no invoice or accounting for stuff the owners take, it's pretty tempting for the staff to do the same.  We call that employee theft.


Also, if there was never an invoice created, then the services were never recorded as income and the practice looks less profitable than it actually was. 


In the end, that hurts the owner since the value of the practice would be lower.  And, of course, the IRS puts limits on employee discounts (including owners) because they want the value represented by the other 80% (the non-discounted portion) of the services to be taxable to somebody.  And didn't the owner actually receive value? 


--Lorraine List, CPA, CVA
Summit Veterinary Advisors

In This Issue
Workplace Harassment
Nonprofits vs. Private Practitioners
Hot Topic! Owner Discounts?
VBA Tip: Overtime Banking
VBA Tip:
Banking  of  Overtime  
A practice has all their employees bank their overtime for up to a year and use it throughout the year, at their discretion. In other words, nobody ever gets paid overtime but if they have banked hours they can "cash" the hours in to get a 40 hr paycheck. The "overtime" hours expire at the end of the year. 
This may seem like a way to save lots of overtime pay, but in private sectors it is not allowed.   Compensatory time is defined as time off in lieu of pay, usually overtime pay.  As such, compensatory time off in the private sector is either illegal or a misnomer. Non-exempt employees may not get comp time in lieu of overtime pay. That is illegal. Only in the public sector is that acceptable.
In other words.. pay the overtime.
Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter

 Copyright 2012 - Veterinary Business Advisors, Inc.