REVISION – March 24, 2020 4:50PM

As we have stated often, clarification on the new laws is coming very slowly and what we tell you at one moment may be revised the next.  This is one of those moments.  And it may be good news or bad news to you, depending on whether you wanted to put the expanded Family Leave Phase 2 provisions in effect, or you wanted to be excluded from them for cash flow purposes.  Our previous post indicated, to the extent your practice would remain viable, and to the extent that you have staff at home with minor children, that you must comply with the Phase 2 expanded Family Leave provisions.  It also stated that there was some talk that Dentists could be excluded from the provisions as healthcare providers but that looked unlikely.

New interpretations from an employment attorney are now leaning the opposite way—that dentists are specifically included as “health care workers” for this purpose and therefore excluded from the provisions of the bill.  REMEMBER—WE ARE STILL TALKING ABOUT LAST WEEK’S PHASE 2 BILL.  THERE IS NO EXPECTATION YOU WILL BE EXCLUDED FROM THE PHASE 3 BILL.  We are still of the thought, that the intent of the law was to cover as many small business employees as possible and that dentists will eventually be brought under this mandate.  Additionally the ADA is currently petitioning the Secretary of Labor to request that dentists not be exempted.  This is definitely not a settled issue but we want to make sure you are fully informed.

But remain calm, when Phase 3 is finalized this may all be moot since the purpose of that relief package is to help pay payroll.  One way or another, there is expected to be a way to pay this large expense or recoup what you have already paid out, while you are unable to collect patient fees to cover it!

Stay tuned!