Is employment contract binding?

  1. Has anyone had to sign a one or two year contract agreement for employment as a new grad RN? The contract stipulates that I would need to pay them (the hospital) a sum of money ($5000.00) if I break the contract before the two years is up. They say that the reason is that it costs xx amount of dollars to train a new graduate.
    My second question: How binding is this agreement? Has anyone had to break it? If you break it, does it affect future employment?
    The contract is with Delray Medical Center - a Tenet organization.
    Thanks!
    •  
  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   caroladybelle
    Yes, some facilities do make nurses sign contracts for employment. This is more common in highly specialized areas like OR nursing. Basically because it requires a great deal of training for prolonged periods of time to get up to speed. Some facilities do it also if they have reimbursed NCLEX fees or paid your tuition, or given you/will give you a "free" NCLEX course, etc.

    As to whether it is legal in Florida, I do not know.

    Foreign nurses often have two/three year contracts d/t expense and inconvenience of petitioning.
    But a really good question is Have you researched Tenet and that facility?

    Many people that research Tenet's history, especially in Hurricane zones, may find themselves highly reluctant to work for them. lease refer over to threads on the nurses/MD arrested in regards to deathes during hurricane Katrina.

    And Delray Beach, despite all of Tenet's PR, does not have a good rep among travel nurses.
  4. by   NurseguyFL
    Florida is an 'at will' employment state, which means either that your employer can fire you at any time for any reason, or that you can quit at any time for any reason. However, that changes if there is a legal, binding contract with the stipulation of specific terms and conditions between employer and employee.

    Seems to me that what you are referring to is the type of agreement many south Florida hospitals coerce new grads into signing. They usually claim that they are making an investment in your career development by giving you specialized training in telemetry, med surg, or critical care nursing, depending on which area of the hospital you are being oriented to work in. This type of contract is a document that is usually given to you to sign while you are filling out your new hire paperwork, and there is always some fine print at the bottom of the document that states in legal mumbo jumbo that if you leave the hospital before a year (or 2 years) you are liable for paying back the costs of these training programs (which may vary into the thousands of $$$).

    Yes, it is a binding contract as long as it has your signature on it. Whether or not the hospital decides to enforce it is another matter. Not all of them do, and some will pro-rate the payback amount according to the length of time you actually worked for them.

    IMO, its highly unreasonable for these hospitals to try to stick new grads with a $5000 or $10,000 bill if the hospital sucks and the nurse decides to quit. Expenses associated with training new RNs are tax deductible for the hospitals, so this is really just a scare tactic to get people to stay, and it appears to me that its the hospitals that have a hard time holding on to their nursing staff that employ this tactic.
  5. by   steu
    Thank you for the information. I've chosen a facility that is not making me sign one of these contracts - for obvious reasons. Tenet was very hesitant to give me the details of the agreement, and the recruiter was very shady in my opinion.
  6. by   BSNtobe2009
    I would probably call the labor board...you can ask them a general question regarding employment contracts.

    Was this a contract all employees sign?

    Quote from steu
    Has anyone had to sign a one or two year contract agreement for employment as a new grad RN? The contract stipulates that I would need to pay them (the hospital) a sum of money ($5000.00) if I break the contract before the two years is up. They say that the reason is that it costs xx amount of dollars to train a new graduate.
    My second question: How binding is this agreement? Has anyone had to break it? If you break it, does it affect future employment?
    The contract is with Delray Medical Center - a Tenet organization.
    Thanks!
  7. by   Havin' A Party!
    Nurseguy's response was dead on.

close