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Employment-Contract-Review

EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT REVIEW

Chelle Law provides review of Employment Contracts for health care providers entertaining a new job or renegotiating an existing employment agreement. You have worked hard to develop your skills and deserve to advance in your professional career with a fair market value employment agreement. So, when you are about to enter into an employment agreement, getting employment agreement analysis services before signing as an employee with a new business is vitally important.  A legal review by lawyers of the employees work stipulations in contracts is vital. Popular questions include:

Review Contract Clauses

The terms of the agreement will impact your practice and your day-to-day life. Lawyer Robert Chelle can analyze your agreement’s content, identify the areas that could be improved and assist you in negotiating the best employment contract possible as a new employee. Each provider that requests Mr. Chelle’s assistance with agreement review receives:

  • Available in any state
  • Flat-rate pricing, with no hidden costs
  • Review of your proposed employment agreement or agreements
  • Phone consultation reviewing the contract term by term
  • Follow up with a review of the needed clarifications

Employment Contract Review Cost

Employment contracts are an obligatory part of every job search for providers. Well-drafted contracts help to enumerate the responsibilities of the involved parties, divide liabilities, protect legal rights, delineate financial interests and assist in planning a beneficial relationship. Contract negotiations make these touchstones are even more crucial when applying their roles to the case of providers employed by a hospital, corporate owned group, or private practice.

A review generally costs between $500 to $700 per Agreement with discounts provided for multiple contracts.

While drafting and negotiations of contracts can be a long and arduous process, a search for quality lawyer review is a must in order to ensure that your rights are being protected before you start your new job and sign a new physician contract.  The present day conclusion is simple: Providers should not sign a physician contract without having the physician contract reviewed by a lawyer.

For instance, contract concerns include: license defense, periodic reviews of medical board policies, planning for employee financial increases, attorneys fees, salary negotiations (and other financial considerations) upon expiration of contracts, AMA fees, etc. An example of professions we provide employment agreement review to include:

Physician Contract Review Nurse Practitioner Contract Review
Physician Assistant Contract Review Dentist Contract Review
Veterinarian Contract Review Medical Contract Review
Podiatrist Contract Review Optometrist Contract Review
Chiropractor Contract Review Naturopath Contract Review
Physical Therapist Contract Review Pharmacist Employment Contract Review

Employment Contract Checklist

Every provider’s employment contract is unique.  However, nearly every employment contract for health care professionals should contain several essential terms.  If these essential terms are not spelled out in the employment agreement, disputes can arise when there is a disagreement between the employer and employee as to the details of the specific term.  For instance, if you are expecting (and want) to work at the practice Monday through Thursday and the job is expecting the provider to work Monday through Friday, but the specific workdays are absent from the Agreement; who prevails?  Spelling out the details of your job is crucial to avoid conflicts during the term of your employment.

Sections You Should Want Clarified

Below is a checklist of essential terms that all employment contracts should contain (and a brief explanation of each term):

  1.  Services Offered: What are your patient care duties? Are you given time for administrative tasks?
  2. Patient Care Schedule: What days and hours per week are you expected to provide patient care and have patient contact as a new employee?
  3. Locations: Which facilities will you be scheduled to provide care at (outpatient clinic, surgical sites, in-patient services, etc.)?
  4. Outside Activities: Are you permitted to pursue moonlighting or locum tenens opportunities? Do you need permission from the employer before you accept those positions?
  5. Physician Oversight: If physician oversight is needed due to state law; who will be the supervising physician?
  6. Call Schedule: How often are you on call for the job (after hours office call, hospital call (if applicable)?
  7. Electronic Medical Records (EMR): What EMR system is used? Will you receive training prior to providing care?
  8. Base Compensation: What is the annual base salary? What is the pay period frequency?  Does the base compensation increase over the term of the Agreement?
  9. Productivity Compensation: If there is productivity compensation; how is it calculated (wRVU, net collections, patient encounters, etc.)?
  10. Benefits Summary: Are standard benefits offered: health, vision, dental, life, disability, retirement, etc.?
  11. Paid Time Off: How much time off is offered? What is the split between vacation, sick days, CME attendance and holidays?
  12. Continuing Medical Education (CME): What is the annual job allowance for CME expenses and how much time off is offered?
  13. Dues and Fees: Which business expenses are covered (licensing, DEA registration, privileging)?
  14. Relocation Assistance: Is relocation assistance offered? What are the repayment obligations if the Agreement is terminated prior to the expiration of the initial term?
  15. Signing Bonus: Is a signing bonus offered? When is it paid?
  16. Discrimination:  How are claims of discrimination handled and can you be sure they are handled professionally by a human resources employees trained in discrimination training?
  17. Professional Liability Insurance: What type of professional liability insurance is offered: claims made, occurrence, self-insurance?
  18. Tail Insurance: If tail insurance is necessary, who is responsible to pay for it when the Agreement is terminated?
  19. Term: What is the length of the initial term? Does the Agreement automatically renew after the initial term?
  20. For Cause Termination: What are the grounds for immediate termination for cause?
  21. Without Cause Termination: How much notice is required for either party to terminate the Agreement without case?
  22. Post Termination Payment Obligations: Will you receive production bonuses after the Agreement is terminated?
  23. Non-Compete Clauses: How long does the non-compete last and what is the prohibited geographic scope?
  24. Non-Solicitation Clauses: How long does it last and does it cover employees, patients, and business associates?
  25. Notice: How is notice given? Contact via email, US mail, etc.?
  26. Assignment: Can the Agreement be assigned by the employer?
  27. Alternative Dispute Resolution: If there is a conflict, will mediation or arbitration process be utilized? Who decides what lawyer oversees the legal process?

Breaking a Contract with a Non Compete Clause

Non compete agreements were originally considered as restraints of trade, and thus were invalid on the grounds of public policy at common law; however, many restraints of trade incident to employment contracts were upheld based on the rule of reason.  Thus, restrictive covenants between employees not to compete after termination of employment are generally enforceable as long as it is reasonable and no discrimination takes place.

However, there are a few states which prohibit health care provider non compete clauses.  Please check your state laws for provider non compete agreements to see what the specific rules for your state are.  The general test for reasonableness of non-competition agreements holds that on termination of employment, a covenant  which restrains an employee from competing with his former employer is termed reasonable if:

  • The restraint is not more than required for protecting the employer,
  • It does not inflict any untold of hardships to the employer, and
  • The restraint is not injurious to the public and avoids discrimination.

Non Competition Reasonableness

For instance, in Ohio, a non-competition clause was unreasonable when it was noted that a provider’s sub-specialty was uncommon, and that it would be harsh if the restrictive covenant was enforced as the hospital where he was precluded from practicing was only one of the few institutions in the area where he could practice his specialty.

Thus, in Ohio, covenants restraining providers from competing with his employer on termination of employment is considered unreasonable if it inflicts untold of hardship on the physician, is injurious to the public, if the demand for the dentist’s medical expertise is important for the community people and if the dentist’s services are important for the health, care and treatment of public.  However, non-competition clauses for providers, in general, are enforceable as long as they protect some of the employer’s legitimate interests over the employees.

Employment Contracts Negotiation Dangers

Providers face increased risks when they take employment contracts into their own hands. The terms of employment agreements are highly negotiable and have a great impact not only on professional life but also on lifestyle, family and the future.  There are many important legal terms and clauses which can present new complex and diverse issues for any provider, including:

  • Unfavorable call schedules
  • Small Production Bonuses
  • Lack of Benefits
  • Not enough paid-time-off
  • Not enough vacation time
  • Unfair Non-Compete
  • Inadequate professional liability coverage

Employment Agreement Attorney

When your employment contract is reviewed by experienced lawyers, you will find great financial benefits which end up outweighing the cost of the analysis.  Employees in need of assistance with an employment agreement or agreement audit, schedule an Employment Contract Review with Chelle Law today!