Tag Archive for: doctor

Navigating Unique Terrain: Employment Law for Physicians in Minnesota

Physicians play a crucial role in the healthcare landscape, dedicating their expertise to the well-being of patients. However, the practice of medicine isn’t just about patient care; it’s also about understanding the legal framework that governs employment in the medical field. In Minnesota, like in many other states, physicians encounter a unique set of employment laws that require careful navigation. In this post, we explore several distinctive aspects of employment law specifically relevant to physicians in Minnesota.

Licensing and Credentialing:

Minnesota has its own licensing and credentialing requirements for physicians, which can impact their employment. From obtaining a medical license to privileges at specific hospitals or healthcare facilities, physicians must adhere to state regulations. Moreover, credentialing processes can vary between institutions, requiring physicians to stay abreast of each entity’s specific requirements. Failure to maintain proper licensure or credentials can jeopardize employment opportunities and professional standing.

Whistleblower Protections:

Physicians, as advocates for patient safety and ethical medical practices, may find themselves in situations where they need to report wrongdoing or unsafe conditions. Minnesota law provides protections for whistleblowers who report violations of law or regulations in good faith. In fact, Minnesota law provides specific protections for any employee who reports a concern about the standard of patient or healthcare. Navigating whistleblower protections can be complex, as physicians must ensure their actions are lawful and in the best interest of patient care while also safeguarding themselves from retaliation.

Wage and Hour Laws:

Physicians, especially those in residency programs or employed by healthcare institutions, are subject to both Federal and Minnesota wage and hour laws. Understanding regulations regarding minimum wage, overtime pay, and meal and rest breaks is crucial for both employers and physicians. Additionally, residency programs must comply with Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) standards, which include duty hour restrictions to prevent physician fatigue and ensure patient safety.

Telemedicine Regulations:

With the rise of telemedicine, physicians must also be aware of the regulatory landscape governing remote healthcare services in Minnesota. State laws dictate licensure requirements, patient consent protocols, and standards of care for telemedicine practitioners. Physicians engaging in telemedicine must adhere to these regulations to avoid legal repercussions and ensure quality patient care.

In conclusion, employment law for physicians in Minnesota presents a complex and evolving landscape that requires careful attention to detail and compliance. If you have questions about employment law generally, or how it applies in the physician or healthcare setting, contact experienced attorneys at Kitzer Rochel, PLLP today.

Hennepin County Jury Awards Landmark Verdict of Over $4.6 Million in Whistleblower Case

In January 2024, Brent Bullis, a radiologist and senior shareholder of Consulting Radiologists, Limited (CRL) in Eden Prairie, was granted a historic jury verdict of $4.6 million in a case against his employer for wrongful termination.

Dr. Bullis brought a claim against CRL and Allina Health System for retaliation in violation of the Minnesota Whistleblower Act and the Minnesota Human Rights Act. Dr. Bullis alleged that he was terminated in retaliation for his reports of sex discrimination, billing fraud, patient care violations, and illegal and fraudulent activity to CRL. Dr. Bullis, who had worked with CRL for over 18 years, brought forth these concerns to leadership out of good faith and hope that CRL would change its practices so that he could continue his career at CRL. However, when CRL repeatedly failed to act, he warned that he would have to report his concerns to Allina Health, the parent company of Abbott Northwestern Hospital where Dr. Bullis practiced through CRL. In response, CRL terminated his employment. 

While Bullis’ claims against Allina Health were dismissed in August 2023, his claims against CRL proceeded to trial. After a two-week long trial, the jury ruled in favor of Dr. Bullis and granted him $ 4,587,602 in damages. The damages calculation included actual and compensatory damages, including past and future wage loss and emotional distress.  

This damages award was a significant victory for Dr. Bullis, for employment rights advocates, and for future plaintiffs. A jury award this high shows that the Minnesota community does not tolerate employers who retaliate against their employees for reporting ethical and legal violations and safety concerns. The inclusion of emotional distress damages also recognizes that the effects employees face after discrimination in their workplace extends beyond just the loss of a paycheck. Losing a job often leads to significant effects on a person’s mental and physical health, reputation, and dignity.  

If you have questions about employment law, or feel that your rights may have been violated, contact Kitzer Rochel today.