Contracts and Paying the Company Back


Hi there! I just had a quick question regarding my travel company contract. I'm working with AMN for a short 9 week assignment. There are 2 different weeks I could only work 2 days for that particular week. Reason being was the current hospital I'm at has the 1st day of the week start on a Monday, not a Sunday because of that the week of Thanksgiving I could only do 2 days (I had a 5 day long wedding I had to attend), and my last week there I can only do 2 days b/c I have to make it home in a certain timeframe to make it to my next assignment.

I didn't realize that even though the days off like that were approved by the hospital, I would have to still reimburse the travel company at a rate of $18/hr for the hours missed. I thought that only applied for calling in sick. Just curious if anyone else has run into this issue. Is AMN the only company who does this? Are there other companies who don't penalize you for needing 1 extra work day off for the week? Thanks!


1 Article; 5,766 Posts

Virtually all agencies handle this similarly. Some will have a grace period of some time, perhaps three shifts during an assignment, more often as practice and not specified in the contract.


1 Article; 5,766 Posts

Oops, posted to soon. What I wanted to add is the reason for penalties. They are to recover costs expended by the agency that cannot now be covered by billable hours. These are primarily the cost of provided housing. Some agencies like to try to capture lost profits as well but that is kind of bogus.

Effectively your housing is part of your hourly and you shouldn't get it if you don't work the hours. Right? Thus a clawback provision to recover your overpaid hours.

Penalties should be based on the real costs. $18 sounds very high to me but perhaps you are being housed in a hotel given your short assignment.


49 Posts

I'm with AMN and was told to work an extra shift in order to avoid the fine. Your extra shift can take place during anytime of assignment.


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While I don't know about AMN's pay policies specifically, a lot of agencies require that made up time be regular hours. It is difficult to impossible to work an extra shift that is not overtime and not counted towards your regular hours. If overtime counts, it is possible that missing a day would not incur any penalties because of previously worked extra hours.


44 Posts

Actually I took the stipend which is why I didn't completely understand why I would be charged that amount. I agree $18/hr is a lot.


793 Posts

Specializes in ICU/PACU. Has 10 years experience.

I worked with AMN for a few years. If you make up the shifts, they will reimburse you. So say they took off $200 one week - called missed shift fee, if you work extra the next week, you will get paid for those hours, then they will reimburse the money they took off previously. I don't remember the hourly rate of missed shift fees when I was w/AMN but I want to say it was $12-18/hr.

When I was with AMN the first week of orientation I was never charged for not reaching 36 hours. They would always waive the missed shift definitely ask your recruiter about that. Especially since you started on a Monday. It may be different because it's an 8 week assignment and it has been a few years since I've worked w/them.

My current company gives me 2 days where I am not penalized for not working...more for if I'm sick. I don't get paid, but they don't take money from me.

Sorry for the long response.


1 Article; 5,766 Posts

Taking the stipend makes it easier to calculate a fair missed hour penalty. Take the total assignment housing stipend plus the per diem and divide by the number of contracted hours. If you are getting health insurance (American Mobile is required to provide it I believe) then add another dollar and a quarter to the missed hour penalty.

Of course, determining what is fair is pointless unless you do it before the contract is signed and negotiated. As one can never know when hours might be missed due to illness, personal reasons, or a disagreement with the hospital about call offs, travelers should negotiate a fair penalty before each and every contract.