Breach of Contract

Posted
by integrativenurse integrativenurse Member

Has 20 years experience.

I'm currently looking for different opportunities right now. I left my job 3 months ago to pursue a stay-at-home job. Unfortunately, it didn't work out but I still want to continue a stay-at-home for the family. I'm willing to go back to floor for financial reasons...at least until I find a telehealth job. I found some travel opportunities and so far it's looking good. Travel job pays very well but working banking hours with no weekends and holidays works better for me and my family. Now here are my questions/dilemma (sorry for beating around the bush):

What if I'm in the middle of a travel assignment and my ideal job offers me a position in telehealth and they couldn't wait for me to finish my travel contract?

NedRN

NedRN

1 Article; 5,747 Posts

So this is just a hypothetical. Let's assume that happens. For it to be a problem, the ideal job would say immediate start or not at all. I don't think that is likely. I wouldn't want a applicant who has so little loyalty to her/his employer. You might do the same to me.

So I wouldn't worry about it. There are lots of ideal jobs out there. You can choose also to wait for one, versus being stuck in a contract you will have to break.

That's the high road.

If you want to take the low road, contracts often have unspecified damages for bailing, which means they could argue they are entitled to lost profits in court. Better contracts have missed hour penalties. Both can be expensive. Now realistically, they may not sue you, but they may not pay you for hours worked, and may claw back your last paycheck (or reverse the direct deposit claiming a mistake). Additionally, some agencies may ding your credit report. All these actions are legal to do, but you could potentially sue the agency for these actions and win. These actions by agencies are certainly are not ethical, but heck, you started it.

NedRN

NedRN

1 Article; 5,747 Posts

Just to add: Everyone recruiting potential employees (including telehealth firms) are recruiting mostly from those who already have jobs. So that is an expectation for HR and there will always be a process for onboarding new employees, including allowing time for them to fulfill prior obligations, such as a two week or a month notice, or completing a contract.

Before that even happens, there has to be a due diligence process: interview, examining credentials, validating references, and getting a physical. As anyone knows who has gotten a permanent job or a travel assignment, that can take a lot of time, sometimes several weeks. Only then do you receive an official job offer and after that you have to wind down prior employment commitments (generally included in the official job offer as a later start date).

So I really wouldn't stress over hypotheticals. But if you must, you could seek out short travel contracts like 4 weeks. That should take care of any concern over breaking a contract because a great job comes along.

integrativenurse

Has 20 years experience. 47 Posts

Thank you for your input!

esrun2015

esrun2015

26 Posts

I find this interesting. I have had several friends, who travel contracts were whose contracts were either cancelled effective immediately (not for anything the nurse did) or the travel pay was cut significantly by the hospitals that had contracted with them and the agency they were with said there was nothing they could do. So why is it a one way street?

NedRN

NedRN

1 Article; 5,747 Posts

Because the agency writes the traveler contract. Some terms are so onerous that the contracts could be considered contracts of adhesion and probably fought successfully in a court of law. Still, who has that kind of money? And few travelers read their contract before signing and the associated employee handbook that is part of the contract.

esrun2015

esrun2015

26 Posts

I read my contract and it said nothing about employee handbook. My pay was cut by 1/3, but I only had a week remaining on the contract. That hospital cut all the travelers pay at the same time. We were given the option of cancelling the contract (and a lot of them did). I finished it out and when I got my final pay, it was for the contracted amount, not the decreased amount. But the whole thing made we re-think  traveling. 

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, Nursing Professional Development. Has 17 years experience. 5 Articles; 11,205 Posts

3 minutes ago, esrun2015 said:

But the whole thing made we re-think  traveling. 

And that very well may be the point. Money isn’t an incentive to travel? “Great! Now they’ll take on permanent positions hopefully for us” is probably the thought behind it. 

NedRN

NedRN

1 Article; 5,747 Posts

There is usually an acknowledgment of the employee handbook or manual but it is not always in the contract. Sometimes  it is one sentence on one of the many other forms you sign and can be easy to miss. 

integrativenurse

Has 20 years experience. 47 Posts

LOL, I guess luckily no assignment panned out.