Get your hand out of my pocket! - page 2

I received a letter stating that I had to repay the portion of the sign-on bonus I received due to the fact that I left the facility. I have no problem paying the money except that they are... Read More

  1. by   LaVorneRN
    Oh! How true! I forgot how much they hate bad press! This might work.
  2. by   Vsummer1
    Originally posted by essarge
    I hate to say this (and be the devil's advocate) but since you left the facility prior to them terminating you, you did not complete your contract. If they would have terminated you, then they would not have the right to ask for the money.

    While I agree with the other posters that something doesn't sound right, it sounds as if they forced you to make a decision to leave prior to them "officially" terminating your position, therefore protecting themselves and their money.

    Did you get any notification in writing that they were downsizing and that your position was being eliminated? If you did, you may have a good argument not to pay them back...if not.....
    Essarge basically states the way it is...

    While I agree it stinks they did this, the fact is... you ceased to work for them before the contract was completed on your "bonus".

    I have warned many students NOT to take what I call the "indentured slavery" that some facilities are offering to nursing students in the form of a "scholarship". It is NOT a scholarship -- if you do not work the contracted 6 months per $500 of money given to you in school AFTER graduating (provided that 1) you graduate and 2) you pass the NCLEX) you must repay them. It is a loan, complete with a contract (promissary note).

    BEFORE you accept money with terms attached, KNOW YOUR TERMS and be willing to pay it back. Or, simply do not accept it at all. Should you choose to take the money, put it into an interest bearing account and save it until your contract is fulfilled. Because until that contracted time is over, it really isn't your money free-and-clear.

    This is basic contract law, and by accepting the terms and the money you are bound by that contract.
  3. by   dawngloves
    Hmmm... Run all this by the Federal Dept. of Wage and Hour (look in the phone book under Federal agencies) See what they think about this.
  4. by   mother/babyRN
    VERY fishy...Don't let them off the hook....
  5. by   karbyr
    raphael, love the way you think...............agree this would be a good starting strategy, then follow up as suggested w/ requests to keep the money all the way up to the CEO..............will take awhile before collection agency is contacted................use that time well
  6. by   jemb
    Usually, only a portion of a sign-on bonus is paid until the contract is completed. How much time was left on your contract when you resigned? What percentage of the total had you been paid already, and when was it paid?

    If your position were reinstated, would you go back?
  7. by   P_RN
    Sounds awful to me. At least the tax portion of the bonus is being held by your friendly IRS and state income tax bureau.

    You will possibly be able to get that back next April 15. I am familiar with the "bump" principle. When they close out one job those folks can bid on an equal or lower job. Last hired, first......

    If it is a huge amount of money I think a labor lawyer might help. If its less than say $1k then I might just go the bad press route.

    IMHO and only MHO.
  8. by   sjoe
    You need an attorney. No good alternatives.
  9. by   Agnus
    Originally posted by essarge
    I hate to say this (and be the devil's advocate) but since you left the facility prior to them terminating you, you did not complete your contract. If they would have terminated you, then they would not have the right to ask for the money.

    While I agree with the other posters that something doesn't sound right, it sounds as if they forced you to make a decision to leave prior to them "officially" terminating your position, therefore protecting themselves and their money.

    Did you get any notification in writing that they were downsizing and that your position was being eliminated? If you did, you may have a good argument not to pay them back...if not.....
    I believe essarge is correct. If you had stayed until they layed you off you would have a case as they would be the ones breaking the contract. However, you left before that actually happened. So you broke the contract.
    Companies about to downsize like it when an employee quits before they are layed off. This frees them from all contracts, eliminates the need for severence, and unemployment.
    I was in a simular situation. I was well aware that management wanted us to leave of our own accord. We were encouraged to do so. Because I stayed I received severence pay. Those who got nervious about their income and left early did not get any severence. Those who stayed were elegible for unemployment once the severence period was over.

    Yes it is true they were going to lay off anyway. But you blinked first.
    Last edit by Agnus on Apr 25, '03
  10. by   susanmary
    Dedicated nurses are treated in an unprofessional manner by
    management ... and then wonder why there is a shortage of nurses who are willing to work at the bedside. Seems very simple to me. They tried to force you out ... you took the bait and quit before they terminated you -- you probably have to pay back the loan. I would set up a meeting with the VP of Nursing with all the documentation that you have and see what happens. If you must pay, set up a payment schedule -- even if it is $5 a week. They lose ... you lose.
  11. by   LaVorneRN
    Originally posted by susanmary
    Dedicated nurses are treated in an unprofessional manner by
    management ... and then wonder why there is a shortage of nurses who are willing to work at the bedside. Seems very simple to me. They tried to force you out ... you took the bait and quit before they terminated you -- you probably have to pay back the loan. I would set up a meeting with the VP of Nursing with all the documentation that you have and see what happens. If you must pay, set up a payment schedule -- even if it is $5 a week. They lose ... you lose.
    This is a good tip. I was in a situation at work some years ago where while I was on vacation the hospital erroneously paid me a signigicant amount of money that was actually my vacation time they cashed out to me. It was 3 months before I realized the error( I had no vacation time in the bank- a negative balance) when they brought to my attention that they wanted it back. Since it was their error (there's more to the story) they reduced the amount they wanted back but I was still pretty mad so I told them they could take $5 per month because I didn't want to be reminded of their error every paycheck. After a few months I guess they just got sick of taking a measley 5 bucks and that was the end of that.
  12. by   Agnus
    Please do not feel this is just nursing this is common business practice. You left before you were terminated. If you had waited to be terminated, then you would have plenty of rights, and they most likely would have honnored those rights without question.

    You will be hard pressed to even get unemployment now.

    Life seems unfair and is at times. Look at it from a business stand point.
  13. by   yannadey
    No wonder so many nurses are leaving the profession. My dear get thee a lawyer & fight this. They really do have some nerve asking for their money back after the way they treated you. I'm sure you're not the first one they have done this too but hopefully if face with a legal fight & the chance of bad publicity they'll think twice before doing it again. Good Luck & keep us posted.

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