Inclement Weather Policy
As healthcare providers is our responsibility to maintain our commitments to our patients. 42 North Dental supported practices have built their reputations on the idea of reducing barriers to patient care. While simple, this powerful idea has created highly successful practices with a strong, loyal patient base. What this means is that we are open and available for patients. Our patients know they can count on us to be there when they need us, and we are dedicated to keeping that patient promise, including during times of inclement weather.
It is the policy of 42 North Dental/42 North Dental Care to remain open for normal business hours during periods of inclement weather. Where extraordinary circumstances warrant, due to weather, we may decide to close any one or combination of supported practices. However, we will always do everything we can to be open to care for our patients.
The weather in New England changes quickly and varies widely across our locations. Any decision to close a supported practice is extraordinary and is done in collaboration with the operational management of 42 North Dental. Director and practice manager, in partnership with the Regional Manager, will discuss and make a recommendation on office closure. The Regional Manager shares this recommendation with Operations senior management, and the final decision will be made based on the following criteria and guidelines before any schedule changes are made.
- Current weather conditions (after 5:00am same day). Decision to close is not made from weather forecasts the day prior due to the quickly changing weather conditions in New England.
- Weather conditions at specific practice location. Travel conditions vary greatly by location.
- Parking limitations or restrictions communicated through State, City or Town agencies.
- Travel bans communicated through State, City or Town agencies.
- Weather emergencies communicated through State, City or Town agencies.
- Only after every possibility of a delayed opening is considered.
Delayed Opening/Partial Day Closure
In an emergency event such as inclement weather, it may be determined a practice will close a partial day, either closing prior to completing the full day or delay opening, to allow for snow removal and improved driving conditions.
Communication of Closure
Manager and/or supervisor are required to notify all employees by telephone of a practice closure. Practice closure information is also available online at www.42northdental.com/weather. This is the only official listing of offices with delayed openings or closures and is the reference point for all staff.
Non-Exempt/Hourly employees are compensated based on actual hours worked. Employees are not paid for times when the office is closed. 42 North Dental supported practices are opened extended days and hours, and there is opportunity for employees to work additional hours during other times of the week in the event of an inclement weather closure. Compensation options for employees:
- Plan ahead, based on the weather forecasts. Schedule patients differently during the week, doctors and staff work to accommodate patients and maintain employee hours.
- Work additional hours after the inclement weather event to accommodate any patients that may have needed to be rescheduled.
- Work in another 42 North Dental supported practice that day, or another day during that week to recoup any lost work hours, when the opportunity exists.
- Use accrued paid time off to compensate for any hours not worked.
- Not be paid for the day.
- In the event of a Partial Day Closure employee will be paid in accordance with state laws regulating minimum hours and may choose to supplement that amount with the above outlined compensation options.
It is the policy of 42 North Dental that supported practices are open for normal business hours when inclement weather is in the forecast. We are in New England, and it snows. This expectation should be set with all doctors and staff. These same expectations are set with the patients. Appointments are confirmed the day before, and patients are informed that the practice will be open and treating patients. Different locations face different challenges. City practices with public transportation access will have patients coming since they are not driving. When other organizations close, their employees are looking to use the additional “found” time and go shopping, run errands or make appointments. This provides additional opportunity for our patients to have access to dental care.
Regardless of whether the practice remains open or closes on an inclement day, it is each employee’s decision to determine if they can safely arrive at work under the conditions. If an employee elects not to work on a given day, 42 North Dental requires a telephone call to your manager or supervisor advising as to your status for the day, prior to the beginning of the work day. Direct telephone communication is required. Text or email is not sufficient notification of inability attend work. No pressure is extended from 42 North Dental, at any time, that would encourage employees to take unsafe chances to attend work.