Labor Laws, Controlled Substance Laws, & the Veterinary Employee Handbook

Labor Laws, Controlled Substance Laws, & the Veterinary Employee Handbook
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  • 0:01 Laws of the Workplace
  • 0:37 Equal Opportunity
  • 1:23 Pay and Labor
  • 2:36 Controlled Substances
  • 3:57 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov
This lesson outlines equal opportunity laws, fair labor standard policies, the employee handbook, as well as laws pertaining to controlled substances.

Laws of the Workplace

Over the course of the past 100 years, many different laws have been created that have made certain previously common standards pertaining to the workplace illegal. Perhaps you, yourself, have experienced a problem when being hired or fired, or maybe know of someone.

This lesson will be a melting pot of different laws you should at least be aware of. They pertain to the hiring and firing of individuals, laws that govern controlled substances and why they arose, and how most veterinary technicians and assistants are classified under pay and labor rules.

Equal Opportunity

A veterinarian is not allowed to hire or fire a person on the basis of discriminatory action. Doing so would violate EEO, Equal Employment Opportunity, laws. These laws state that an employer cannot fire or hire employees on the basis of their national origin, gender, religion, color, or race. Discrimination against a worker based on pregnancy or childbirth is also not allowed. Furthermore, age discrimination is prohibited as well; this namely pertains to hiring and firing individuals who are between 40 and 70 years old. Individuals with disabilities cannot be discriminated against either.

If an employer fires an employee on the basis of such factors, then a lawsuit can result against the employer.

Pay and Labor

After you are hired by an employer, you are subject to FLSA, the Fair Labor Standards Act, rules that govern the minimum wage you should be given, compensation for overtime work, and so on. You should check your state's local laws regarding the specifics of this, including what the minimum wage is in your state.

Most veterinary technicians and assistants that enter veterinary practice are known as non-exempt employees, which are hourly wage employees and thus employees subject to minimum wage and overtime pay rules. As a non-exempt employee, you should receive overtime pay if you work for more than 40 hours in one week. Your manager will discuss this with you when you are hired, as well as your benefits, vacation days, and how to use time cards appropriately.

Many of the things they will discuss are actually found in the employee handbook that you'll need to review at the time of hire. The employee handbook contains quite a few things, including policies regarding:

  • Vacation and benefits
  • Overtime pay
  • Employee expectations
  • Sexual harassment
  • Drug use

Controlled Substances

The policies regarding drug use apply to use inside and outside the workplace. It's sad, but true, that in the medical world, a few doctors, veterinarians, nurses, and other staff abuse drugs, including drugs located in the hospital. A few animal owners do this, too, by taking drugs that were prescribed to their animal for a medical purpose.

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