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Advice With Agency Error

by Coathanger838 Coathanger838 (New) New

Hello. I accepted my first assignment a month ago for an August 4 start date in Denver, Colorado at the VA. I currently have a great full time position at a hospital and they are giving me a leave of absence for entire travel time. The VA contacted me last week and wanted me to attend new employee classes July 17, which is impossible because I work my current job through July 25 and then my leave of absence begins through October 28. I contacted the hospital and the mandatory new employee classes are held starting the 17th of every month... Contacted my agency- AMN, and my recruiter basically says, "blah blah, woops". My new start date will be August 17 and not for the signed contract of August 4. Is there no liability on my agency's end for the signed contract start date? I expressed my anger and she is offering a $700 bonus on my first paycheck for my inconvenience. If the table's were reversed and I told the agency that I could not work until August 17, but I had signed for an August 4th start date, then what? Wouldn't I be on the hook for signing and going against my contract?

What would seasoned travelers do? This is a great paying contract, it is in Denver, and I already have made financial arrangements to be in Denver for the assignment (Broncos tickets, roundtrip flight from Denver, etc). I would really like to stick with the contract, but will be out of work for 2 full weeks now. Does this also mean that my monthly stipend for August will be cut in half since I will not be in Denver for the full month of August? Is it reasonable to negotiate for more compensation or something else? Thanks for taking the time to read my post and I really appreciate any advice.

Can't you work at home for another two weeks? The $700 should cover the change of airline ticket.

All employers basically have more power than employees, that is why we have unions (who were largely responsible for legislated protection that employees have now such as minimum wage and overtime). So yes, if things were reversed, you would feel a lot of pressure to perform. Right now, the contract is effectively in breach, so you can certainly walk if you want. That is your main power other than the hassle of suing over a certain innocent mistake for a few hundred dollars. No, you will not get a stipend for those two weeks. I gather they were not providing housing. If they were, you might have the option to ask that they house you free for those two weeks and you can enjoy a vacation.

Glitches like this are not uncommon for travelers. For those who live paycheck to paycheck, it is a huge inconvenience. For experienced travelers, they just move on to Plan B, or go home for a couple of weeks. Part of life. For someone who has made careful plans such as you for a one time working holiday, there is not much that can be done but adapt the best you can. Take a holiday somewhere else, or see if you can shift your sabbatical with your current employer. Hospitals are very rigid about their orientations so nothing can be done there.