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Since 1977, Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum, has provided the highest quality legal advice and services, whether litigous or transactional.

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Employee inappropriate with staff, am I responsible as Employer?

Provided by:  Jennifer Kirschenbaum, Esq.

May 4, 2017


Question:

Jennifer,

One of my doctors is a little too familiar with staff.  I am concerned he may be offending individuals and opening me up for liability. Thoughts? 

Thanks for addressing,

 Dr. L


Answer: 

If you do not address you may be viewed as condoning the behavior.  Certainly if a claim is made by way of administrative complaint or law suit, you as the employer, by entity or individual name, will absolutely be brought in. It is critical you evidence you have addressed the situation and demanded a change in conduct. If there are repeat offenses, you very well may have to terminate the doctor. Documentation will be key. 

Whether you can hold the doctor responsible for any monetary exposure will partially depend on your contract with the doctor.  Is he responsible for indemnifying you?  If so, for what?  We'll check the contract as a top priority.  

As an additional consideration, a surprising number of practice owners are not aware you can obtain insurance to protect against a harassment or inappropriate conduct in the workplace claim - its called Employment Practices Liability Insurance - typically a rider to your general liability policy.  If you don't have it, I recommend you discuss with your broker.  

For help with documentation, assistance with a company policy, or for attorney intervention with the doctor, feel free to call.  
 





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