Your employee rights were violated. Now what?
If you feel that you've been treated unfairly, chances are good that your practice didn't intentionally violate your rights. To protect yourself and preserve a strong working relationship, you must approach the situation carefully. Here's how:
Accentuate the positive. Ask to meet with the practice owner or manager. Appropriately set the stage by saying that you know they want to be aware of potential problems and want the chance to make the situation right. When you meet, remember that your intention should be to collaborate on finding an answer—not to accuse the practice of trying to take advantage of you. Keep your emotions in check and listen calmly, allowing your managers time to respond during the discussion.
Be patient. Give your managers time to review the information you presented. If they're hearing your concerns for the first time, they may not be able to address them immediately. Ask to set up a time when they can get back to you about how to proceed. And be prepared to work out alternative solutions, such as implementing changes over a period of weeks or months.Go beyond the practice. If all else fails and you're unable to resolve your differences, you may want to call, e-mail, or write to the appropriate agency (federal or state) that handles the issue you're facing. Do this only after you've exhausted your options within the practice.
Sheila Grosdidier, BS, RVT, is a partner at the veterinary consulting firm VMC Inc. in Evergreen, Colo. Please e-mail email@example.com