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Inside this issue
  Top 5 employment laws doctors get wrong  
  Even unintentional violations of labor laws can come with stiff fines or other consequences.  Make sure you are not making these common mistakes when it comes to your practice's employment compliance:

5. Minimum wage - The minimum wage is $11 per hour in 2018, $10.50 if you have 25 or fewer employees.

4. Sick leave - An employee who works in California for 30 or more days within a year from the beginning of employment, is entitled to paid sick leave.  

3. Exempt employee minimum salary - A small business owner - 25 or fewer employees - must pay an exempt employee at least $840 a week regardless of the number of hours worked beginning 2018 and $1,200 a week regardless of the number of hours worked beginning 2023. The laws about exempt vs nonexempt employees can be confusing. Click here for more information.

2. Independent contractors vs. employees - Employers oftentimes improperly classify their employees as independent contractors so that they, the employer, do not have to pay payroll taxes, minimum wage or overtime, or comply with other wage and hour law requirements. Check to make sure you are following the law.

1. Posting updated labor law posters in the break room - this may not sound like a big deal, but failure to post required workplace notices can cost you.
 

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  COA works to integrate optometry in FQHCs and create more jobs for ODs  
  The COA Health Care Delivery Systems Committee (HCDS) is collaborating with the California Primary Care Association, the association that represents federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), to integrate optometry in more sites across the state. There are currently 1,400 FQHCs across the Golden State; less than half of which provide optometric services. Therefore, integrating optometry in more FQHCs would create a lot of great new jobs for doctors of optometry.

The FQHC model is considered to be the "gold standard" of integration of optometry. FQHCs that provide optometric services in-house utilize a fully integrated model where doctors of optometry work in collaboration with the primary medical care team.

FQHCs are community clinic one-stop-shops that provide a variety of health care services to patients, the majority of which are covered by Medi-Cal or are uninsured. FQHCs rely on governmental grants and funding and are fortunate to receive a significantly higher payment rate than standard Medi-Cal fees.

If you are interested in learning more about the integration of optometry in FQHCs, click here to view a COA fact sheet on this topic.  

Please Kara Corches if you already work for or contract with an FQHC in your community, or are interested in practicing in this model. COA has a variety of resources for members interested in FQHC optometry.
 

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  Ed Hernandez for lieutenant governor update  
  COA's former President Ed Hernandez, OD, is running for California lieutenant governor in 2018 and he deserves your support. There are four other candidates running but Hernandez is the clear frontrunner. Senator Hernandez has raised over $2 million and has the endorsement from over 500 local, state and federal elected officials and community organizationsOne of Hernandez' opponents, physician Asif Mahmood, has recently dropped out of the race.

For Dr. Hernandez to win - for optometry to win - we need your personal involvement in this race. A large, grassroots organization of supporters across this state is needed to help put him over the top in November. Let's show California what optometry can do when we are organized. There are many ways you can help - everyone should be able to find some way they can personally get involved.

Ways you can help:

 
  • Donate money - Do you want to help out but don't have a lot of time? - Individuals can click here to donate now. Societes are allowed to donate up to $999 each calendar year for all political purposes/candidates. Contact Julie Andrade at COA for more information about how to make a society contribution.
  • Host a fundraiser - It's easier than you think. Call Nancy Castro at 626-683-7304 or email Nancy@ncpassociates.com and she can walk you through the process.
  • Volunteer for the campaign - sign up by clicking here and filling out the second form.

Support Ed Hernandez for lieutenant governor and help one of optometry's proven leaders move to the executive branch of government.
 

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  Medi-Cal coverage expansion for undocumented children  
  SB 75 expanded Medi-Cal to undocumented children beginning May 2016, including eye exams and eyeglasses. Estimates suggest 170,000 California children could become eligible for comprehensive health benefits as a result of this change. For more information or to help someone apply for health coverage, click here.  

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  Register now for COA's Leg Day  
  Resolve to make a difference for your profession and plan to attend this year's Legislative Day in Sacramento on Wednesday, April 18, 2018. Register now!

Also plan to attend our Pre-Leg Day Webinar to discuss lobbying topics in detail. Are you unfamiliar with the issues and want more information about what we are lobbying and why? Save the date for our Pre-Leg Day Webinar Wednesday, April 11, 2018, from 12:15 pm to 1:30 pm. The webinar will be recorded and available online if you are unable to join the webinar. If you have any questions, please contact Julie Andrade at jandrade@coavision.org  or (916) 266-5031.
 

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