Getting screwed by an agency - need help!

  1. I need some experienced advice fairly fast!!

    My situation: New grad that finally started working w/a home health agency -> given terrible hours in a location the agency wasn't even supposed to cover -> Worked 8 weeks but only got paid for 2 (a month ago) -> brought this to their attention, receiving a "I'm working on it" reply -> called back the next day, explaining that I won't be coming in until I get paid.

    ok, so that's what happened b/n me and my unorganized agency. I notified the RNs on the case (unaffiliated w/my agency), along with the pt's primary caretaker. The ladder wants me to work for myself, as a PDN (i have both an npi and mpn).

    So my question is: Am I legally allowed to work in such a capacity? The agency had me fill out dozens of forms the day I came in for an application, and I'm not sure if I signed something like a non-competitive agreement. Needless to say, I won't be working with the agency either way.

  2. Visit Acrastic profile page

    About Acrastic

    Joined: Jan '11; Posts: 6; Likes: 8


  3. by   bill4745
    As for not getting paid, your state labor board may be of assistance. You would have to read the paperwork to see if you signed a non-compete agreement. Working on your own poses many hassles dealing with income tax payments, liability, etc.
  4. by   systoly
    I'm sorry you're going through this, but I also have to say your story sounds like there's something missing or not quite right about it. Why did you settle for "I'm working on it"? What are the pay intervals with this agency, weekly, bi weekly ? Was all your paperwork in order? You did accept the terrible hours in that particular area so complaining about it now takes away from the real issue. As far as working for yourself is concerned if the agency broke the contract you're good to go. I was shorted on my paycheck from my agency one time and while being assured it was submitted to payroll, two pay days went by without make up pay. I insisted on getting paid immediately and the office cut me a check from their general expense account right then. There is a way to get you paid without further delay.
  5. by   Orange Tree
    Don't waste any more time with the agency. Contact the state labor board and watch them (the agency) scramble the way you have been.
  6. by   netglow
    Why not pull out all the stops. Get legal help. A nice "advisement" of how it would benefit the agency to expedite payment to you. On top of what the others suggested. Myself? I would have given them two weeks to remedy, and then lowered the hammer. I don't mess around at all.
  7. by   EmergencyNrse
    Your problem transcends the normal "advice" you might
    get on any website or here. You need to talk to a lawyer.
  8. by   NYLady
    It would be unusual for an agency not to have you sign a document where you understand that you may not work for the place they sent you, usually, for 1 year. If you do work for them before the year is up the agency is usually owed a fee.
  9. by   caliotter3
    Your state labor board can get your pay perhaps with a penalty added to it. If that remedy does not work, then time to see an attorney. I would look for a new client for private duty.
  10. by   Acrastic
    First of all, thanks for posting your suggestions. Here's what I have / am going to do based on your recommendations:

    1. I've checked out my state's labor laws and similar employee rights pages. I can file a claim with the Dept of Labor and, if that doesn't work, sue them for money owed in addition to attorney fees.
    2. Just to make sure my interpretation is correct, I'll call both the state and fed departments of labor for advice.
    3. If they advise it, I'll call and email my agency to inform them of a potential claim and legal suit if the check doesn't arrive by Monday. If not, I'll file a claim and get a free consult from an employment lawyer.
    4. would depend on the agency's actions.

    As for the pt, I'm going to assume I signed a non-compete agreement and not take this client - just to be extra safe in case this does end up going to claims court.

    @systoly: I took them at their word for the same reason I took this bad assignment - I felt I didn't have a choice. This assignment was my first, so I wanted to make a good impression in hopes of securing better cases. I also don't have a financial backup (no alt income streams or savings of any kind) thanks to 6 months of unemployment. The combination meant just sucking it up, but this long of a wait is too unreasonable.

    P.S. I'll post back when the issue is resolved, in case something similar happens to somebody else one day.
  11. by   noctanol
    Quote from EmergencyNrse
    Your problem transcends the normal "advice" you might
    get on any website or here. You need to talk to a lawyer.
    How much do they owe you? How did you sign a bunch of papers without reading them? How did you come to accept these terrible hours? How did you work for 8 weeks without pay (only got 2 weeks pay), Something in your story is not makiing sense, and when it doesnt make sense usually someone is hidding/not telling the whole truth, anyway i wish you the best of luck