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VIDEO - DUwHF #894 - Paul Edwards
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AUDIO - DUwHF #894 - Paul Edwards
Paul Edwards is the CEO and co-founder of CEDR HR Solutions, a leading provider of custom employee handbooks and on-demand HR support for dental practices of all sizes and specialties across the United States.
With over 25 years of experience as a manager and business owner, Paul is well-known throughout the dental community for his expertise in the HR issues that impact dental practice owners and managers. He specializes in helping dentists successfully handle employee issues and safely navigate the complex and ever-changing employment and labor law landscape.
Paul is the author of HR Base Camp, a blog and podcast channel for dentists and healthcare providers. He is also a featured writer for The Profitable Dentist, Dentistry IQ and Dentaltown, and regularly speaks at dental seminars, conferences and CE courses across the country, including the Greater New York Dental Meeting, Yankee Dental Conference, DOCS Education, AADOM and more.
Howard: It is just a huge honor today to be podcast interviewing my buddy for years, Paul Edwards.
Paul: Hi, Howard.
Howard: Thank you so much. I live in Phoenix and he lives 90 miles south to Tucson.
Paul: Yeah, yep.
Howard: You're about ... what are you, about 2 hours from the Mexican border?
Paul: We're about 10 hours ... we're about 10 degrees below Phoenix, is what I like to say in temperature.
Howard: Oh, in temperature 10 degrees?
Paul: Yeah, so a couple hours ... yeah, a couple of hours away from the border.
Howard: Oh, my god, I love that area there.
Paul: It's gorgeous.
Howard: And by the time you get to the Mexican border, it's a mile high.
Paul: It is and it's much cooler and it's just gorgeous.
Howard: Oh, my god.
Howard: I got to tell you about that. But tell me, you probably already know him because he's done 3 continuing education courses for us and he has, you know, like, 2 000 posts on Dentaltown. His CE "From ordinary to extraordinary. How to create a self-managing team" filmed live at the Townie meeting in 2017. That was an amazing course. His other course was "Handbooks and policies. What every employer needs to know". He did that about a year ago. That is priceless. And the third one "The devil's in the details. How your office policies can help you or cost you". And that was recorded live at the Townie meeting in 2015. He's the CEO and co-founder of CEDR HR Solutions. I call it 'Cedar'. Do you?
Paul: It's 'Cedar', yeah.
Howard: 'Cedar' HR Solutions, a leading provider of custom employee handbooks and on-demand HR support for dental practices of all sizes and specialists across the United States. For listeners around the world, HR is Human Relations. You only manage 3 things: people, time and money - it's the people. With over 25 years of experience as a manager and business owner, Paul is well-known throughout the dental community for his expertise in the HR issues that impact dental practice owners and managers. He specializes in helping dentists successfully handle employee issues and safely navigate the complex and ever-changing employment and labor law landscape. Paul is the author of HR Base Camp, a blog and podcast channel for dentists and healthcare providers. He's also a featured writer for 'The Profitable Dentist', 'Dentistry IQ' and Dentaltown, and regularly speaks at dental seminars, conferences and CE courses across the country, including the Greater New York Dental Meeting, Yankee Dental Conference, DOCS Education, AADMO and more. And what I want to ... the reason I asked Paul to drive an hour and a half this morning, is because you young kids that just started your own dental office, you got to stop and think at least once a day: America has 1 million attorneys and they're the ones in Congress that write all the laws and they're fed ... their total revenue is about a trillion Dollars. So, when you look at the United States economy of 19 trillion, a trillion goes just to feed the lawyers. And dentists, they don't have HR manuals and they think everything's cool and a handshake and whatever, until they fire some employee. Then they realize that they're going to go find some attorney and that attorney wants to make more than a dentist and then they get in trouble. It's a brutal world out there.
Paul: It is, and I think, Howard, it changed about 10 years ago when we had a little bit of a meltdown in the economy. And I think a lot of attorneys ...
Howard: You talking about 2008? Or the one ...?
Paul: I don't think 2008 is the ...
Howard: Or are you talking about the one next year in 2018?!
Paul: Well, I can't quite predict that far ahead, but ...
Howard: Well, how old are you, Paul?
Paul: I'm 56.
Howard: So, I'm 55.
Howard: And you recognize patterns.
Paul: You do.
Howard: It seems like about every 10 years of my lifetime ...
Paul: Mine too.
Howard: I mean ...
Paul: It's been the same way.
Howard: I mean, it's like I don't care what any of the numbers say, I don't care what inflation, Wall Street, whatever.
Howard: And the reason it's cyclical, the greatest economists I ever read on the issue is because, at the end of the day, humans are emotional, imperfect animals. So, I buy a house for a rental property and it doubles in value.
Howard: And then you say, "Damn, look what Howard did! I want to buy a house. I'm going to jump in there." And then your friend ... then everybody jumps in.
Howard: And then it's a bubble, and then it pops.
Howard: And the only way you could get rid of the cycles is if you had artificial intelligence making all of your business decisions in stocks and bonds and real estate. So, as long as the homosapien, emotional animal is making the business decisions, you have the cycle.
Paul: I think so.
Howard: And I've seen it every 10 years.
Paul: I have to. I have just ... I mean, I just remember coming out of college and it just ... you just kind of watched the cycle come through and it seems like there's always some event, you know, that that triggers it each decade or so, and in this last one it was that bubble, I mean, and we saw a lot of people ... we saw, at that time we were just really getting CEDR started in 2006, 2007. And our conversation had to be ... for the first 3 or 4 years ... had to be about how to lay people off, and how to do it the right way, and how to keep your team intact, and, you know, it's really an emotional thing because our employees - they're a human resource, they're human, they're a part of our team. And if you want to ...
Howard: Right, right. Ryan and I know a very close friend who had a construction company in 2008. He had 325 employees and they laid them all off for 50, and his wife said he just walked around crying for a week.
Paul: Yeah. Well, it's one thing ...
Howard: 'Cause the people had been with him for 20, 30 years.
Paul: I mean, you know, you and I have always ... I think anybody who's listening to this has experienced hiring somebody that it was, kind of, a mistake and it's pretty easy to get rid of that person because it was a mistake. It's not a fit, it's not the right thing. It's another thing when you're going through an economic downturn and people are being let go simply because of economic reasons, it's not something they did or didn't do. It was hard and it's, you know, a lot of those calls in that first 3 or 4 years were a lot like the calls I take when we've discovered there's embezzlement or something going on. I mean, the doctor almost needs therapy. You know, you're a therapist over the phone. You're just saying, you know, "You're not a bad guy. You haven't done anything wrong here. I know this is this is hard on you." So, yeah ...
Howard: And, it's so emotional, I mean. I know patients in the last 3 years where they ... when they were at work, their home was invaded, they dumped all the drawers.
Howard: The wife couldn't live in the house anymore.
Paul: It is. It is indeed.
Howard: She felt violated and they'd gone through her drawers and she just could not go in that house.
Paul: Well, I just think all this highlights how human it is to be an employer. It's hard to separate that ... I don't know, I mean, it's almost a parental feeling. You spend more time with the people at work than you do with your own family.
Paul: You develop relationships. I mean, we do a lot of associate work, associate agreements and coaching and doing those agreements and that's a big part of it. When I'm speaking with the doctors as, you know, even in that thing we frame it as 'this is a marriage you are about to enter into with this person'. The difference is that you get to do some negotiating this time. When you bring up your agreement, your prenup in effect, you know, you don't get that look that you get from your future wife.
Howard: Well, prenup is another classic example of the business cycle, because you're in love and it's romantic and you don't want to make it ugly and get a lawyer and get a prenup, knowing full well that half the marriages fail, and the rich dentist is going to be paying the stay-at-home spouse.
Paul: That's true.
Howard: And it's girls and boys.
Howard: I know a female dentist my age and she's just livid that when she married her husband, he decided to quit the job and help raise the 2 girls, and, my gOd, 10 years later was that so ...
Howard: Was that the worst financial decision she ever made. I mean, she had to support that guy for a decade.
Paul: So, it's kind of like of an employee handbook. It's the same kind of thing. It's, I guess, I never really thought of it like a prenup, but I think in a lot of ways it kind of defines things and it sets things out ahead. And, I think a lot of people look at employee handbooks like there are these constraints or these, you know, you're putting in these rules and when you put this document in, you're telling your employees, I don't trust you, or, you know, we need these policies in place for some reason. And, I think that's hard for some dentists to, kind of, get past.
Howard: So, your website is CEDRSolutions.com.
Howard: I wanted to talk to you. Number 1: what percent ... you've been in this a long time ... what percent of my homies do you think have an HR manager?
Paul: I think almost ... I would say probably 95 percent of the dental offices we speak to out there, if not more, have a - I'm air quoting for people listening to this, for people watching here's the air quote, I'm air quoting - "an employee handbook".
Howard: Well, I'm proud of you guys.
Paul: Yeah, yeah.
Howard: I would ... what would that have been 10 years ago?
Paul: 10 years ago it was probably a little bit less than that. I think that the qualification I want to make out there is that most of them have this homemade book, you know, this thing that they've put together. And that's what you do. I mean, you get into a business - Howard, you remember, you probably still have to do it every now and then - you're like, "Wow, some things around here aren't going quite like I want them to go, and we probably should make a rule up about this.
Howard: Well, it's funny because people will act all sometimes sad or depressed and they talk to you and they say, "I'm having some staff issues." I'm like, "Dude, who doesn't have any?" I mean, look at the Arizona Cardinals. Are they having any staff issues?
Paul: I know. I know.
Howard: Their running back just fell on his damn wrist and might be out half the season. I mean, name ... look at Uber. You think, well, they're worth 75 billion Dollars. Yeah, they just had to fire their CEO on sexual harassment ...
Howard: I mean ...
Paul: Google just had a major lawsuit filed against them just a couple of days ago.
Howard: The girls?
Paul: Yeah, because of the disparity in pay.
Howard: And they say ... and the lawyers say it's structural.
Howard: Only one third of Google employees are women.
Howard: And they're showing how they make less across the board.
Paul: And you know what, Howard, I just want to point something out. You said structural, and that's one of the important things, is that it's easy to pick up structural issues inside of any kind of company and attack it. So, for instance, you have someone - and we see this on Dentaltown all time – “I'm having trouble with this employee. I think she's, you know, she's always late”, and everyone's like, well, just focus on her and, you know, your in and out will state you can fire her, just go after her and do these things, and then, you know, when you get down to the nitty gritty of it, there's usually something else behind it. You know, she just came back from maternity leave or, you know, there's some other mitigating factor going on there. And so, I think it's easy to overlook all those mitigating factors when you look at something like that and just say, well, you can just let this person go. Because structurally, I can look at all of your time cards, if I'm an attorney and I'm coming after you, I can look at all your time cards and I can quickly show that you have lots of employees who are late over the last 6 months, but you picked that employ to begin to enforce and do the 'gotcha' with. And so, it's not always so simple as just enforce your rules.
Howard: And a lot of it's the ... I mean, you know, the Mafia always said, "The fish rots from the head down."
Howard: And the corporate culture comes from the head.
Paul: Oh, wow, yeah.
Howard: The dentists are all mad 'cause the assistants come in late. You know how many offices the dentist is the last person to get to the office and the first one to leave?
Howard: Do you know how many? And then a lot of them don't think it's fair, like, the dentist will take 3 personal phone calls from his wife all day long, but you can't have a personal phone call.
Howard: And she's like, "I can't even concentrate on making a temporary because I don't even know if my kid got dropped off."
Howard: So, if it's good for the goose, it's good for the gander. But why, what plausible reason could there be that Google's employees are only a third women versus half, and that across the board ...
Paul: It's systematic. It is. It is the argument that's being made out there in the world. It starts back with Lilly Ledbetter in 2007. Lilly Ledbetter worked for Goodyear for over 20 years. She, on her way out, on her retirement ... I think maybe she'd even been there for 30 years ... on her way out the door, someone basically slipped a note and said, "Lily, there are men being hired here today who are starting at a higher rate of pay, doing the same job you've been doing for 30 years." And I'm paraphrasing how that came about. When they looked into it, lo and behold that's exactly what was going on in Goodyear. It's just systematic. As the men were coming in, they were getting paid more than the women. And even so much so that a woman with 30 years wasn't getting paid as much as a brand new graduate coming in with an MBA. And so, Lilly Ledbetter sued, and the Supreme Court said, look, the way the laws are written right now, you would have had to have discovered that issue within ... I think it was 180 days of the first time that it happened. So, at some point in her early career they discriminated against Lilly, if you look at the definition of discrimination in pay, and she didn't pick it up and the way the statutes are written is that she didn't have any recourse. And they actually changed the law to make it so it would be at the time of discovery, so that when she found it out 30 years later, she could actually do something about it.
Howard: Now, you lot, that was a bad story about Goodyear.
Howard: So, since Mr. Goodyear is my favorite guy in the world, I've got to do a good story. You know why he's ...?
Howard: You know why he's my favorite guy in the world?
Howard: 'Cause we got a city out here called Goodyear.
Paul: Uh-huh, yeah.
Howard: Do you ... what do you know Goodyear for?
Paul: I know Goodyear, obviously, for what I think most people do - for tires.
Howard: So, what he did, he was a chemist and he learned how to vulcanize rubber.
Howard: And the first application was a denture franchise across America.
Paul: No kidding!
Howard: So, you'd bring in your ill-fitting, wooden, horrible dentures. He would vulcanize this rubber, pour it in there molten, but it wouldn't burn you ...
Howard: But seat it, it would cool, and you had a suction denture.
Howard: George Washington would have given away his farm for this.
Paul: For this, yeah.
Howard: And it was so amazing that he set up franchises all across America. And people would get on horse and buggies for two weeks to go get a Goodyear vulcanized rubber denture.
Paul: What made him think of doing it for dentures?
Howard: So ...
Paul: Was he a dentist?
Howard: He was a dentist. So, I don't know if he was a dentist 'cause back ... G.V. Black, the father of modern dentistry, didn't even go to dental school.
Paul: Right, right.
Howard: They were apprenticed back then.
Paul: Yeah, yeah.
Howard: And then he was, towards the end of his career, I think he was about, like, 60 and this man - I don't know if you've ever heard of him before, Henry Ford?
Paul: Yeah, I've heard of him.
Howard: Called him up and said, "Can you put a layer of vulcanized rubber around that wooden and metal rim?”
Howard: And then I think he ordered 10 million tires …
Howard: … from Mr. Goodyear. So, everybody knows him for the dentures, so we contacted Goodyear - the CEO of Goodyear.
Howard: And I told this lady there about this story - about you can't have a city of Goodyear ...
Paul: And not know this story.
Howard: ... and she thought, “That is so darn cool.” So, at the Goodyear City municipal, they actually contacted the dental society and they are gathering things ...
Paul: No kidding!
Howard: ... trying to get the vulcanized rubber thing, because that was just an incredibly, amazing story. Dentists invented cotton candy. I mean, they've invented a whole ... they've been very entrepreneurial.
Howard: I mean, anybody who goes to 8 years of college to learn how to help someone get out of pain is thinking about how ... what the customer needs.
Howard: And that's the basis of business.
Howard: Dentists are like, "Well, what's wrong?" You know, they're getting to the point. Well, what's business? Not "I'm making something and I'm going to shove it down your throat!" They're like, "What does that guy need? What is his problem?" And they solve it.
Paul: Well, Howard, I think amongst ... while we're talking about entrepreneurs - and it's one of the things that I love about working with dentists - and we work across medical: we have acupuncturists, chiropractors, I mean, we have, you know, we work across that entire industry. About 85 percent of our clients are dentists and that's ... when someone says, "Well, what's the difference between a doctor, you know, an M.D., and a dentist? Is there any difference between the two?" And I just say, "Most dentists are entrepreneurs." And a lot of them are even torn between how much they love the mechanical model nature of what it is they do of fixing people and looking in and doing that thing - are torn between that and actually the management, the growing of their business, the entrepreneurial side of it. And that, for me, just personally gets me excited working with dentists.
Howard: Yeah, I ... so, I've been out here 30 years this Thursday and, like, I'm hard on my homies, but Vince Lombardi was hard on his players. I mean, you can't win a Super Bowl if someone's going to sugarcoat everything! So, that's why I call it 'Dentistry Uncensored'. I'm pretty brutal to the people I love the most.
Howard: But the thing is dentists and vets and chiropractors are a league ahead of physicians; like only ... in Ahwatukee, only physicians' offices still have the glass wall.
Howard: You go there, you knock, then they slide you the card.
Howard: If you go - and I've done this; I've gone to every single dental website in Ahwatukee, and I've gone to every single M.D. At least 80 percent of the M.Ds don't even have an email on their website or a contact form.
Paul: Yes, because they don't want you to get in touch with them.
Howard: It's like, "Here's the phone number and here's the address." It's like, how lame are you? So, dentists in Phoenix are all in retail, visible locations. The physicians, you know, by time you find your dermatologist for the first time, you're like, "Who the sh*t picked this location?"
Howard: And then, when you go back the second time, you're like, "What street was it I turned down?" and " Where is it? All these buildings look the same!"
Howard: So, yeah, dentists just crush physicians. I mean, if you think your office is not up to par, just go visit your doctor.
Paul: Oh, pretty much.
Howard: They're pathetic.
Paul: I agree.
Howard: But I wanted to get you in here. You are so in touch with the dental community in H.R. I wanted to talk about what you're seeing in the field. What issues are you solving? Now, obviously you're a problem solver. What issues? They're commuting to work. What issues are you seeing out there that you might be discussing and she's driving to work thinking, "Oh, damn!"
Paul: Oh, damn, yeah. Okay, so, first, Howard, we have the ... when we built our model, we build what I missed as an entrepreneur - which was having a solution center, somebody could call and talk to about my employee issues. So, we have one of those. It takes over 10,000 calls from our members every year. So, we do get all those issues. You know ...
Howard: 10,000 H.R. calls a year?!
Paul: Over 10,000 H.R. calls a year! This year we're on track to do almost 13,000. And they're from the most simple thing to the most complicated, and it's very, very interesting. I will tell you, the biggest trend over the last 2 months - and this isn't all that sexy - but Apple watches are showing up on all the employees' wrists now. And so, that's the biggest complaint that we're getting: is that the Apple watches are very distracting, and they want to create a policy around that issue. That's one of the biggest ones. You know, the other issues that come in that I think all of us face at some point. You know, you feel like your team is not engaged. You have high turnover. You have ... you know, the other thing about dentists, Howard, is they're so empathetic, you know, with what you do and, I mean, you work in someone's mouth, you know, unlike a surgeon who's knocked you out and he's digging away, and you're fixing something. You know, when you're a dentist, you got somebody awake in front of you. Well, not if it's me, because I'm doing oral sedation even to get my teeth cleaned! But it is that you are so empathetic that, when you have trouble with employees, you ... and you're like, "You know, I have to get rid of this person." The next thing you think immediately is, how it's going to impact them personally and their family.
Howard: So, they're driving to work, and they can't take notes. A lot of them follow me at @HowardFarran. I just re-tweeted your last 2 tweets @C-E-D-R-Solutions. CEDR Solutions. C-E-D-R-Solutions. One was "Not following HIPPA requirements just cost one practice 2.5 million Dollars".
Howard: "Can your company afford a HIPPA breach?". The other one "Does your practice have outdated policies, unlawful pay practices? Fix these dangerous compliances now." And we just re-tweeted that to our 23,000 homies. Thank you so much for following me on Twitter.
Paul: Thanks, Howard.
Howard: That's a big compliment. But, back to when you said these people call you, that means they're already a member or a client?
Paul: Yeah, yup.
Howard: What does that cost? How do you become a client so that when you have an H.R. issue ... because the reason Dentaltown was so successful was because the internet connected ...
Howard: It was 1 in 2,000. They were lonely.
Howard: And with Dentaltown, no-one has to practice solo again. So, a lot of dentists wear so many hats, I think that'd be amazing that when you're thinking about this, to be able to call a professional who's here and around.
Howard: What does it cost to be a member and all that?
Paul: You know, if you're a practice with say, I think, you know, 1 to 10 employees or so, you're looking at about $149 a month.
Howard: 149 a month.
Paul: It's unlimited access to us. We promise to reply within a day.
Howard: But 149 a month.
Howard: Now, so, does a member ... what, do they still need to buy a manual from you?
Paul: They do. They pay for a manual, which is about ... I mean, since we're talking about it, Howard - it's about 2,500 bucks and they're getting a manual which is actually made for them. So, it's not a template. Although we work off our own templates, because, you know, some things don't have to be changed.
Howard: Well, it can't really be a template because aren't the laws in California different than Arizona?
Paul: Look, the laws - there are 7 different jurisdictions in New Jersey that passed 7 different paid sick leave laws, all of them carrying severe penalties. So, you couldn't possibly put the same handbook in place there. But, yes, the handbooks are different everywhere. If I could do one template, it would be amazing!
Howard: But you can't really scale a legal deal.
Paul: No, and I really have to tell you, I abhor the "Here's a Microsoft Word document. Here, take it. It's close already. Now, you work on it and then you go show it to your attorney." I don't like that model. I mean, it's kind of like you giving me the tools I need to work on something that's going on in my mouth, leaving me in a room with them and a mirror, and maybe even an assistant that knows a little bit about it, and saying, "That's all you need." I mean, it's ...
Howard: Yeah, it's like when dentists tell me about these tax shelters, I always tell them, I say, "You know, everything is tax deductible."
Howard: Until you get audited.
Paul: Until it's not.
Howard: And they you're going to go to the IRS Court. You're going to find out they don't have juries of your peers.
Howard: It's going to be you, the IRS judge and you're going to get spanked really, really hard.
Paul: And it's a tough way to get an education.
Paul: And it's what entrepreneurs do. We all do it. We all start by, "I'm going to put up my ... I'm going to build my own website. I'm going to ..." I mean, how many things have you started building, Howard, and you're like, "I want that, and I need it for my business!", and you start off on that path? And I think the handbook just is a natural thing that people ... it's a natural trap that they fall into.
Howard: Isn't it funny how when Congress passes all these laws, you know, it doesn't apply to them and their employees?
Paul: It's amazing.
Howard: You know, the overtime. And then, when it comes to their getting money, the IRS, they decided to remove the jury system.
Howard: You know what I mean?
Paul: I know.
Howard: It's like, it's like government plays by these rules and the little people play by these rules! But on that ...
Paul: I just ...
Howard: ... on that $2,500 H.R. manual ...
Howard: What is the average size of someone getting spanked by an employee in an H.R. issue in a court of law?
Paul: Oh, man, if you go ... if you've got ... if someone's got any kind of legs underneath what they've got going on - and remember, 99.9 percent of all lawsuits never make it to court - they are always settled, they never get into court. So, that's what they're shooting for. So, they're actually picking a number that you can obtain, to get yourself ... to extract yourself out of this, and it's really ... it's a little infuriating, but it's a math problem; and you sit down with your attorney and your attorney says, "Well, we could probably win this if we fight it. But if we do fight it, my fees are going to be about this much. If we fight it and we lose, they're going to win about this much and then you're going to have to pay that attorney's fees." And so, everybody's just doing the math. The average, Howard, it's generally 25 to 35 thousand Dollars - and that's if you just ... it's like, you know, it's a flesh wound. You know, just ... you're just barely ... they barely nick you. Easily, we see these lawsuits skyrocket into the 60, 70; and, of course, we've seen them in the quarter of a million and higher.
Paul: But the realistic number is 25 to 30 grand.
Howard: And the average trial in Arizona is about 40 grand.
Howard: And then go miss work. Let's say you produce $5,000 a day, and you miss ...
Paul: Time suck, yeah.
Howard: Last time I went to jury duty ... you know, I always go to jury duty ...
Paul: Yeah, me too.
Howard: ... but you always get out by noon and you come back after lunch and you get out and right as I was ... it was like 15 minutes til I got to leave.
Howard: Howard Farran.
Paul: Howard Farran.
Howard: Served three weeks at the trial, and they give you this per diem deal - I think it was something like $12 a day.
Paul: Yeah, yeah. It's truly service.
Howard: It's like 3 weeks at $12 a day. I think that didn't cover the gas to and from downtown! I mean, it was ...
Paul: Or the parking. Yeah, yeah.
Howard: Yeah. But that was, man, that was ... you know, I went in there with a positive attitude. I said, “Well, come on, you've never seen a court trial. You've see them on TV, that's all, TV”.
Howard: Oh, my god, is that a brutal process!
Paul: It is brutal. It is a brutal process, and if you get sucked into it - even if you don't end up in court - you and your managers, it's such a time suck. It just takes all ... it just takes the wind out of you. If you have any momentum going, forget what you're up to when that comes in. And look for it to last about a year and a half.
Howard: And it's the same thing, these dentists, you know ... I think that people like us, like myself, who stayed out of courts and boards and all that stuff, is when Grandma wants her money back, give her money back. What's the alternative? She files a claim against the Board.
Paul: I know.
Howard: And then you have to cancel a day and you got to go down to the Board. Then you've got to hire your local dental attorney, Jeffrey Tanner, and you're doing all that and you go through all that and she lives 6 blocks from your office. How is she going to talk about you ...
Paul: I know.
Howard: ... at church and the grocery store for the rest of her life? I mean, Walmart, you can take a sleeping bag back with dirt all over it ...
Howard: ... and a tear and they're just like, they take it back.
Paul: They take it back.
Howard: It's like 1 percent. 1 percent returns. And I look at the dentists, they're going all crazy over some stupid root canal, crown, whatever.
Howard: It's like, were your refunds last year 1 percent? That's what Walmart does, and you should bench yourself off the very biggest and the best of the Fortune 500.
Paul: We do. We do that too, Howard. I mean, if you're not happy, we just ... we want to quickly get you your money back. I mean, that's how we work.
Howard: So, it's 25 ... it's $2,500 for the H.R. manual. Then 149 ... does that keep your manual updated or ...?
Paul: That keeps your manual updated. So, if you're in, say, California, New Jersey, New York, Florida, any of those States where there are legislators - and that's who's doing this. It's State legislatures; it's not so much the federal government. They haven't really changed the rules much on the federal level for the last 30 years. I mean, the National Labor Relations Board - you guys see me post about that often - they have upped their game but it's mostly State and local legislatures that are passing all these laws. So, we keep them updated. We let them know, you know, sometimes you'll say, "I want to change a policy. I want to change my benefits. I want to do something differently." And, Howard, I just want to kind of highlight this: the paid sick leave laws. You know, we just had it passed here in Arizona by referendum and they've passed and are being enacted in over 44 different municipalities, cities and States right now. So, with that, they are killing the PTO model because of the way the laws are being written.
Howard: What's PTO about?
Paul: Well, PTO is generally what you do ... it's paid time off. So, instead of trying to split vacation and sick leave and, say, you know, you take these number of days to be sick and then you've got to hold your left foot up and that means it's sick leave; you hold your right foot up, it's, you know, vacation. Instead of doing that, you lump it all together and say, "Fine, I'm going to give you, you know, your first year, I'm gonna give you 8 days of PTO. You can use it for a mental health day. You can use it take your kids to a soccer game. You can use it to be sick. You can use it for vacation." And, you know, as typically the model is, as they are there longer and longer in service, they earn and accrue more and more of this PTO time. The problem with that is that - and I'll use Arizona as an example - when they put the paid sick leave laws in, they have to be treated differently than vacation time. You don't want to tie the two together. You don't want to have them in one lump sum. So, now, where you had this pretty darn convenient and easy thing to administer and keep track of, you now have to split these two out and return to that paid sick leave side and the vacation side.
Howard: And this is why Americans, especially business owners, cannot stand the government. It's because they always have a big heart, but they don't have a brain. Like Obamacare was beautiful, I mean, no pre-existing conditions, I can keep ... it worked for me, I get to keep older kids on the policy.
Howard: But, they didn't pass one thing to make it faster, easier, cheaper.
Paul: They needed to keep working on it.
Howard: And then when the costs went up 25 percent, I mean, we have a health care system that's one third paperwork ...
Howard: ... and who causes so much of paperwork? A government HIPPA, a government OSHA, a government employment law, a government H.R. law. And they don't realize that we love their big heart, but they don't have a brain. They can't ever streamline a process like free enterprise does.
Paul: Yeah, it seems like once we put people into power, they lose their ability to think like entrepreneurs, like dentists, like you and I, like, you know. I mean, how many times have you put a solution in place and you know you're not done yet. This is just our first step. We had to do something. Let's get this where it needs to be.
Paul: And that happens in employment law as well. We really have watched State legislatures put legislation in place. And if you are looking at the conversations that's going on in the background - and that's our job: we're watching what the attorneys are saying, we're watching what the State legislators are saying, we're seeing things come together - and they basically imply, this is as good as we can get it. We're going to have to flush the rest of it out in court. And what they mean is, some of these things are going to have to go to court in order for them to get settled. And they're just looking at you and I when