We do not pay top of market salaries. Top of market salaries are much easier to bear when a company doesn’t keep employees very long, or takes shortcuts on how it manages, trains or utilizes employees. Employees are like wine – they improve with time, so we want to keep you around. We endeavor to provide pay rates above the market average and to offer a competitive benefit package and a positive working environment. The benefits below will begin at the completion of the 90-day introductory period or, if expressly indicated below, at a later date when those benefits become available.
Our benefits include:
- Scheduled (vacation) leave: Full-time employees earn 8 days of scheduled (vacation) leave after 90 days, 13 additional days at their one-year anniversary. An additional 13 days of scheduled leave are granted at the employee’s 2nd, 3rd and 4th anniversaries. Eighteen days of leave are granted at the employee’s 5th through 9th anniversaries, and 23 days of leave are granted beginning with the 10th anniversary. Part-time employees receive a pro-rated leave schedule. If you don’t use all of your leave by your anniversary date, we buy it back at 100% of your wage rate.
- Unscheduled (sick) leave: Employees are also eligible for unscheduled (sick) leave. Full-time employees receive 4 days of unscheduled leave at 90-days, 5 days at their 1st anniversary, 6 days at their 2nd anniversary, and 7 days per year beginning with their 3rd anniversary. Part-time employees receive a pro-rated amount of unscheduled leave. If you don’t use all of your leave by your anniversary date, we’ll buy it back at 100-135% of your wage rate, depending on how many days you used.
- Holiday leave: Employees are paid for New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. In addition, we often run a skeleton staff on the day after Thanksgiving, so employees have the option of taking that Friday as an unpaid day off or using their scheduled leave time. We also understand that three-day weekends are like gold, so on Saturdays that fall adjacent to holidays like Memorial Day, Labor Day and Thanksgiving, the only employees scheduled to work are our opticians, from 8:00 to 12:00.
- Hours: Most companies don’t consider operating hours to be a benefit, but we try to balance work and family commitments. A typical employee reports for work between 7:30 and 9:00 a.m. and heads home by 5:30 or 6:00. We do provide specialty care in fifteen smaller communities, so some clinical employees will leave before 7:00 a.m. and arrive home after 7:00 p.m. on certain days. We work with clinical employees to determine when and if they can travel. We prefer to avoid overtime, so long days are generally offset by time off on another weekday that week.
Several of our offices are open until 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday nights, and we are open on Saturdays from 8:00 to 12:00. Most front desk and clinical employees can expect to work one Saturday per month, while opticians typically work two Saturdays per month. The rest of our employees typically do not work on Saturdays. Our surgery center is open approximately 11 hours per day Monday through Thursday, so patient care staff in the ASC do not work Friday through Sunday.
- Health insurance: Employees pay from $80 per month for single coverage. The health insurance program through Aetna includes $25-20 co-payments for office-based services, $3 to $85 co-payments for prescription medications, and a $1,000 deductible plus 30% for hospital-based services. Employees may add spouses and dependents to the plan, but these additional costs are not subsidized by the practice. An employee must work an average of at least 24 hours per week to be insured.
- Wellness plan: The terms of our wellness plan will vary by year. Since 2005, we’ve engaged Simply Well, an Omaha-based wellness plan provider, to provide annual employee health screenings, on-line advice and other support to help employees live a more healthy lifestyle. In 2011, we’ve organized a more extensive internal program that provides financial incentives and competitions to exercise, lose weight and stop smoking. Over 80% of our employees and doctors are enrolled in this plan, and our goal is to lose 2,000 pounds and exercise 50,000 miles from February 1st to September 30th.
- Dental insurance: Employees may choose to enroll in a HMO dental plan with a limited local network or a PPO dental plan with a much larger network. The costs of the plans are borne by the employee.
- Life insurance: Midwest Eye Care will provide $20,000 in life insurance coverage to each employee at the company’s expense.
- 401(k) plan: The 401(k) plan has two components – employee contributions and employer contributions. The only entry dates for the 401(k) are on January 1st and July 1st once the mandatory waiting period has been completed. For employee contributions, employees can begin contributing up to $16,500 of their salary to the 401(k) beginning one year after their hire date. For example, an employee joining MEC on September 1, 2011 would be eligible to begin deferring money into the 401(k) plan on January 1, 2013.For employer contributions, MEC will contribute a variable amount each year equal to 5 – 8% of an employee’s salary beginning two years after their hire date. In this case, an employee hired on September 1, 2011 would be eligible for employer contributions on January 1, 2014. The employer contributions for each year are immediately vested to the employee if the employee is employed on December 31 of that year. If an employee is eligible for employer contributions during a year but resigns before December 31, she will only receive a 3% contribution for that year.This information represents a summary of the plan provisions. A more exhaustive description of the plan is available from the human resources department.
- Cafeteria plan: Employees may elect to defer up to $2,600 in unreimbursed medical expenses and $5,000 in child care expenses into a Section 125 cafeteria plan. This plan allows employees to pay for health care and child care expenses with pre-tax dollars, which may reduce the employee’s cash expense for these items by 10 – 25%.
- Eye wear and routine eye care: Employees, their spouses and dependents are eligible for free routine eye care from the MEC doctors. They may also purchase eyeglasses and contact lenses at MEC’s costs.
- Uniforms: All employees except managers and Spectacles sales staff are expected to adhere to a surgical scrub dress code while at work. MEC will reimburse employees up to $100 per calendar year for uniforms, embroidery and shoes. The reimbursement amount is pro-rated for employees during their first year.
- Service awards: Employees receive length-of-service awards every five years to recognize their loyalty to the practice. Seventy-four of our 130 employees have been with us at least five years, and 48 employees have been at MEC for at least ten years.
- FMLA: MEC complies with federal requirements for the Family and Medical Leave Act.