Labor Laws to Know as a Dental Professional

by | Nov 14, 2022 | Dental Assistant, Dental Hygienists, Dental Professionals | 0 comments

Finding the position that suits you best can be a challenging task, and it’s even more difficult when you are not aware of some key labor laws that protect you on a daily basis as a dental professional.

Today’s blog post will shed light on important California labor laws that affect your career as a dental professional. These laws could make their way to other states as well, so non-California residents will still find value from understanding these key areas of protection.

SB 1162 – Pay Scale Transparency

Senate Bill 1162, signed in late September 2022, is set to take full effect as of January 1st 2023. The bill is aimed directly at increasing transparency from employers to candidates.

Effective January 1st 2023, all employers of over 15 employees in the state of California will be required to “disclose a position’s pay scale in any job posting or advertisement and (2) provide the pay scale to any third party used by the employer to announce, post, publish or otherwise advertise a job” (source:CDA).

In addition, employers will be required to “provide to an employee, upon the employee’s request, the pay scale for the position in which the employee is currently employed” (source:CDA) .

Remember that starting on January 1st 2023 it is well within your rights to request this information as it is necessary.

Read more about ways to determine and negotiate fair pay in our other resources.

AB 5 – ABC Test (1099)

Labor Code section 2750.3, included in this assembly bill, is concerned with making sure that employees are not classified as independent contractors.

Being classified as an independent contractor, and consequently taking a 1099 tax form, can increase the tax burden you are responsible for at the end of the fiscal year.

The labor codes included in this bill have been in effect since January 1st 2020, but unfortunately some dental offices have not been formally educated on this law (even though we send them info on this all the time) so they might try to classify dental assistants/hygienists as independent contractors. If they do, politely inform them they can’t and let them know how they should pay their dental temps and working interviews.

ABC Test

If you are unsure if this situation applies to you directly, and you currently receive a 1099 tax form, apply this simple ABC test:

“(A) The person works without control or direction of the hiring entity in connection with performance of the work, both under contract for the performance of the work and in fact;
(B) The person performs work outside the scope of the hiring entity’s usual business; and
(C) The person is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation or business of the same nature as the work performed for the hiring entity.” (source:CDA).

Only by meeting all 3 of these criteria should you be classified as an independent contractor, otherwise you should be considered an employee.

AB 1174 – Expanded Functions

Assembly Bill 1174 has also been in effect for quite some time, dating back to January 1st 2015. This bill covers a variety of expansions in the possible functions of RDHs, RDHAPs, and RDAEFs.

If you are interested in learning about any permitted duties you may not currently be assisting in, you can reference this helpful duties table provided by the Dental Board of California.

The bill was specifically aimed at making teledentistry reimbursable via Medi-Cal, but has an added benefit in possibly expanding the role you are capable of under California law.

AB 2276 – DA Scope Expansion

We are looking a bit to the future as AB 2276 has not been signed into California law as of yet, but has received widespread support and passed with flying colors in assembly.

Assembly Bill 2276 seeks to “allow unlicensed dental assistants to perform duties to the limit of their certifications without needing to complete a costly RDA program and exam . . . [and] provides DAs additional opportunities to learn about the dental assisting career ladder.” (source:CDA).

It goes without saying that this bill, if passed, will massively expand the duties of unlicensed dental assistants. Included in this set of expanded duties is coronal polishing and applying sealant under the supervision of a licensed dentist.

DAs should keep an eye on this important legislature as it continues to develop. If passed, it will allow basic hygiene duties to be performed under dentist supervision and expand your available skillset.

Non-CA Dental Professionals

There are quite a few labor codes specific to California that we covered today, but as mentioned before, please remember that these codes can make their way to other states as well.

It can be difficult to keep track of legislation in your state as it happens, but we will continue to support our dental professionals in the best way we can with these resources.

Head over to DirectDental to put this new knowledge to use and seek the next step of your dental professional career!


Benjamin Sandoval

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