Contracts: Worth the paper they're written on?

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by Jedrnurse Jedrnurse, BSN, RN Member Nurse

Specializes in school nurse. Has 30 years experience.

new-grad-nurse-employment-contracts-mean-anything.jpg.05d06c398b3e5a389250209cc10a0ac7.jpg

There seem to be many posts of a certain "flavor" that relate to new grad employment contracts:

1. The employer is not giving me the training/orientation that they promised, I'm afraid for my license/mental health, etc. I need to leave- are they going to want me to repay the hire-on bonus and/or money to cover my "training" as per the contract? I think in these cases that a legitimate argument can be made that the employer was first to break the contract.

or

2. I don't like my job. I've been here six months and I want to apply for my fill-in-the-blank "dream job". Will I need to repay....well, you know.

In the case of number two, do contracts mean anything anymore? Or is it just that "I don't feel like it so I'll break it in search of something better".

I wish new grads knew just how fast two years passes in the grand scheme of things.

What do people think?

JKL33

6,373 Posts

1 hour ago, Jedrnurse said:

What do people think?

I think you asked one fair question (do contracts mean anything any more) and failed to ask and equally fair question that would apply more evenly to both entities involved: Does anyone's word mean anything any more?

I am not sure if your last sentence in #1 was your personal belief or a conclusion you have seen others make when they believe they are in the situation described in #1.  Regardless, I think that if people want to tell bald-faced lies while trying to acquire "human capital," they deserve every form of (non-violent) pushback that happens to come their way.  If an employer is going to intimate that they will provide practically world-class "residency" training that costs them bazillions of dollars, and that this great effort and expense on their part is the reason for the contract, then what's wrong with employees acting like it better be provided? What is wrong with that?

This is essentially employees purchasing something, one way or another. I think most of us agree that we believe we should get generally what was purchased when making a large purchase. You don't buy a good quality vehicle and expect one of the wheels to be missing or perhaps the engine. You might have already signed a purchase agreement. Is it okay if you go to pick up the car and it has 3 wheels, since the purchase agreement did not stipulate in writing that you would be getting a car with 4 wheels? If that were becoming increasingly common would we all bemoan the whippersnappers for not honoring the fact that they said they would buy the car? I wouldn't. I would say what's wrong with the people using those tactics and advise that people do anything they can to avoid them. They should be shunned and cancelled.

$.02

Edited by JKL33

Davey Do

Specializes in Psych (25 years), Medical (15 years). Has 43 years experience. 1 Article; 10,115 Posts

Contracts...

In my experience, Jedrnurse, they're not worth the paper they're printed on. A few cases in point:

The hospital where I was an LPN reimbursed me for my RN program tuition provided that I sign a contract that I would work there for two years after I received my RN.

I graduated in May 1990 and quit the hospital in December due to unfair working conditions. IDES ruled in my favor, and I received benefits. Sometime later I received a letter from the hospital's attorney stating that the contract was breached and I had to pay back tuition.

I wrote a letter back to them, that due to the hospital's unfair practices, the contract would not be honored. I never heard from them again, the hospital went belly up in 1999, and I blame myself.

Just kidding.

At Wrongway, when the weekend option began in October 2003, we were required to sign a contract and I didn't sign one until January 2020. I didn't like the wording and found a way around it for all those years until HR came to the unit and stood there while I signed. I crossed out something I didn't want to agree to while their back was turned and handed them the contract.

It didn't matter anyway, as I was given a prestigious nursing award that February and terminated the next month.

A contract, like other hospital bureaucratical crap, is mainly for show.

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 30 years experience. 2,776 Posts

1 hour ago, JKL33 said:

I think you asked one fair question (do contracts mean anything any more) and failed to ask and equally fair question that would apply more evenly to both entities involved: Does anyone's word mean anything any more?

I am not sure if your last sentence in #1 was your personal belief or a conclusion you have seen others make when they believe they are in the situation described in #1.  Regardless, I think that if people want to tell bald-faced lies while trying to acquire "human capital," they deserve every form of (non-violent) pushback that happens to come their way.  If an employer is going to intimate that they will provide practically world-class "residency" training that costs them bazillions of dollars, and that this great effort and expense on their part is the reason for the contract, then what's wrong with employees acting like it better be provided? What is wrong with that?

This is essentially employees purchasing something, one way or another. I think most of us agree that we believe we should get generally what was purchased when making a large purchase. You don't buy a good quality vehicle and expect one of the wheels to be missing or perhaps the engine. You might have already signed a purchase agreement. Is it okay if you go to pick up the car and it has 3 wheels, since the purchase agreement did not stipulate in writing that you would be getting a car with 4 wheels? If that were becoming increasingly common would we all bemoan the whippersnappers for not honoring the fact that they said they would buy the car? I wouldn't. I would say what's wrong with the people using those tactics and advise that people do anything they can to avoid them. They should be shunned and cancelled.

$.02

I agree with most of what you've written, but I think it's only half of the equation. Of course if an employer doesn't deliver on the training/development aspect of the contract the employee should have no qualms about getting out.

What about the employee who just isn't "feeling it" or comes across an ad for their "dream job" while they're only part way through their commitment?

JKL33

6,373 Posts

14 minutes ago, Jedrnurse said:

What about the employee who just isn't "feeling it" or comes across an ad for their "dream job" while they're only part way through their commitment?

Yes, that's definitely problematic too. My opinion on that is pay or stay.