April 2018

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Wrongful Termination and Constructive Dismissal
 
 
Wrongful termination occurs whenever you fire an employee for reasons that are illegal and/or against your practice's policies.
 
Illegal firings include those that involve discrimination, whether because of race, gender, citizenship status or other class protection. If evidence exists for discriminatory terminations by an employer, this can lead to a charge by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as well as to private lawsuits by affected employees. It is illegal to fire an employee as retaliation, whether it's because he or she acted as a whistleblower or otherwise reported workplace activities or filed a workers' compensation claim.

You cannot fire someone because he or she refused to follow through on instructions that would require the employee to perform an illegal act or because an employee discussed labor issues with co-workers. It is also illegal to fire someone because of his or her medical history.

Am I Practicing The Standard Of Care?

 
In the law of professional negligence, the standard of care is the benchmark by which others assess a veterinarian's competence. To be within the standard of care, veterinarians must perform their duties with an average degree of skill, care and diligence exercised by colleagues practicing under the same or similar circumstances.  

Unfortunately, this is a general rule and not always helpful when one is trying to determine whether or not to do something in a given situation. For example, when is it or isn't it necessary to refer a patient?
 
In general, compared to other professionals, veterinarians are minimally regulated. Aside from the state board of examiners, DEA and OSHA, few governmental agencies interfere with how we practice medicine. This is a good thing, because veterinarians can still exercise independent judgment. It is a bad thing, however, because it is not clear as to what and what is not the standard of practice.   For this reason, authors of this manuscript have compiled a set of veterinary care standards for various exotic species. We believe that it is better such standards are articulated and published "within" and "for" the industry, rather than waiting around and having the lawyers and courts determine the standards one by one, each at the expense of a veterinarian's career.

In This Issue
Dr. Lacroix Named
Chairwoman of the Board of PetsPAC 

PetsPAC is a new political action committee which will lobby on behalf of veterinary professionals, industry and pet owners.
 
VBA Extern:
Kim Tran 
      

Kim Tran is a 3rd year veterinary student at Texas A&M University interested in practice management, law, and innovation. Her business interests span mergers and acquisitions, recruitment, and practice flow, whereas her clinical interests include oncology and related novel therapeutics. Her professional interests revolve around diversity and inclusion in the workplace. When not working, she enjoys jogging outdoors with her rat terrier and traveling internationally. Upon graduating in May 2019, Kim looks forward to joining a companion animal practice that allows her to develop and expand her business ideas.

 

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