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Fishy, illegitimate contract..?

Nurses   (2,889 Views | 42 Replies)

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On 8/15/2019 at 4:28 AM, Jory said:

Those are promissory notes.  They are different.  Otherwise, how do you think the functions of the legal profession is protected?  

One of the first questions a judge in court will ask, "Who drew this up?".  There is a reason for that. 

Where on Earth are you getting your information from?  To be valid and enforceable, a contract must contain certain elements, none of which are that they be drafted by a lawyer...

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hppygr8ful has 15 years experience and specializes in Psych, Addictions, Elder Care, L&D.

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On 8/14/2019 at 11:24 AM, tinybbynurse said:

I just started working at a HH agency and actually really love it. The only thing I found to be really weird is this week the administrator, who was out most of last week when I started so just had me fill out new hire paperwork this week - had me hand write on a paper the words to a (clearly) made up “contract” basically stating I won’t slander the agency name, speak against them on social media etc, which I was fine with, I remain professional in that regard. The part I DIDN’T like was the part about committing to the company for 2 years or I will be “fined” $10,000-100,000 for leaving early. Oh, and I’m to give a 1 month notice if I leave, or can be “fined”. I clearly remember signing actual legit paperwork stating that this is an at will employer. Not to mention the “90 day” probationary period. The “contract” also included rqnsom weird bits like swearing not to tell ANYONE, including the “law” about the “secrets” of the company. There was other weird stuff in there too. He literally has me hand write what he was reciting. No legit document. I don’t plan on leaving this company any time soon, however, I don’t like the idea of being fined an insane amount if I chose to leave before 2 years. I honestly don’t think this thing he had me write up (which I basically scribbled and was hardly legible Bc he was freaking reciting parapgraphs to me) would hold up in court or actually be legit. But it’s really fishy that he would even try to push it. 

also, this company is owned by a former non US citizen, and there are definitely cultural/slight language barriers. I just wonder if he realizes that here in America, we don’t just make up hand written documents without lawyers consulted and specific wording and clauses typed up to make it legit. Half the stuff he was reciting wasn’t even proper English. He’s a nice guy, just seems fishy.

 

what do y’all think?

ever heard of this? Did I sign my life away for 2 years or do you think it’s truly a non-binding contract that has no actual legal value? 

I haven't read the replies but contracts should be reviewed by an attorney prior to taking the job. It does not sound as if any of this is enforceable however.

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KalipsoRed21 is a BSN and specializes in Currently: Home Health.

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Yeah, I think you need to A) get a copy of that. And B) leave before your 90 day. Even some verbal contracts can be held up in court so I see no problem with them possibly enforcing this on you since it is in hand writing, YOUR hand writing no less. This is fishy and not standard practice by an employer, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be enforced. You haven’t made it through the honeymoon period of hire if you are less than 90 days in, of course you like the job right now. Do not stay here. Or at the very very least go take a copy of what you signed to a lawyer to see what could actually be held up in a court of law.

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Jory has 10 years experience as a MSN, APRN, CNM.

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12 hours ago, Mids said:

Where on Earth are you getting your information from?  To be valid and enforceable, a contract must contain certain elements, none of which are that they be drafted by a lawyer...

LOL...ever take any basic law classes when you were in college as an elective?  You'll be shocked at what you learn.  The next time you buy a house, try to write your own contract and if there is a problem, try to take it to court...you'll find out very quickly how unenforceable your contract will be.  Some types of contracts even specifies the size font that should be used or if anything can be written on the back page.  

You also have the element of having the authority to do so.  You have to be an agent of the company or a representative that contractually has the authority to enter into legally binding contracts.  This is generally specified AND limited in your employment contract unless you own the company.  

If I was working as a manager for a company, let's say, like Microsoft or Amazon...do you really think I could just take the liberty of drawing up an employment contract on my own, without consulting anyone, and try to bind an employee to that contract and thus, creating a legal liability for the company?  Have a court enforce it?  Even if you got to the level of Vice-President of a division...you honestly think you can still do that?  

You may instantly think, "Well, gosh no...a home health agency isn't Microsoft or Amazon." but the size of the company doesn't matter...same principles apply.

A lot of people think, "If you sign something, it's binding".  This could not be further from the truth...depends GREATLY on what you signed.

Edited by Jory

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1 minute ago, Jory said:

LOL...ever take any basic law classes when you were in college as an elective?  You'll be shocked at what you learn.  The next time you buy a house, try to write your own contract and if there is a problem, try to take it to court...you'll find out very quickly how unenforceable your contract will be. 

You also have the element of having the authority to do so.  You have to be an agent of the company or a representative that contractually has the authority to enter into legally binding contracts.  This is generally specified AND limited in your employment contract unless you own the company.  

If I was working as a manager for a company, let's say, like Microsoft or Amazon...do you really think I could just take the liberty of drawing up an employment contract on my own, without consulting anyone, and try to bind an employee to that contract and thus, creating a legal liability for the company?  Have a court enforce it?  Even if you got to the level of Vice-President of a division...you honestly think you can still do that?  

You may instantly think, "Well, gosh no...a home health agency isn't Microsoft or Amazon." but the size of the company doesn't matter...same principles apply.

A lot of people think, "If you sign something, it's binding".  This could not be further from the truth...depends GREATLY on what you signed.

I don’t like getting in arguments, but I want to make sure other people don’t think what you are saying is true. A real estate contract must be in writing, by law, but it doesn’t need to be written by a lawyer. Microsoft or Amazon, well, you can bind the company if you draw something up, even if you are not a lawyer, if you have apparent authority to bind. Please, please, please stop telling people your misinformation. 

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Jory has 10 years experience as a MSN, APRN, CNM.

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1 minute ago, beekee said:

I don’t like getting in arguments, but I want to make sure other people don’t think what you are saying is true. A real estate contract must be in writing, by law, but it doesn’t need to be written by a lawyer. Microsoft or Amazon, well, you can bind the company if you draw something up, even if you are not a lawyer, if you have apparent authority to bind. Please, please, please stop telling people your misinformation. 

You can't bind a company if you don't have the authority to bind...that is where you are very wrong.   The next time you buy a house, save yourself the real estate commission and get out a piece of paper and type it up yourself....you won't find an attorney or title company willing to close the deal.

So please...stop trying to make people believe that anything they sign is binding and enforceable...again, depends on what it is...so many people float through life completely unaware of what their rights are.  

Example: I live in a state where non-compete clauses in employment contracts are illegal under case law.  They are completely unenforceable.  You would be shocked at how many lawyers STILL put non-compete clauses into employment contracts.  Why do they do this?  Because they are counting on your ignorance...that's why.  Kind of like those AMA papers some hospitals get people to sign before they go out to smoke?  The ones that people sign that say the hospital isn't responsible if something happens to you?  It's a deterrent and the hospital is still liable because MOST people will think, "Well, I signed that form."..but the problem is..you are still on their grounds and still admitted.  My hospital just paid a small settlement on that very issue.  

Again...what do you think protects the legal profession?  Oh, you can write anything informally you want...they even have a name for it..its called "meeting of the minds".  May even work in your favor for awhile...you'll run into a problem, if you go to court, and try to enforce it.  There isn't any point in any contract if you can't enforce it.  

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SoCalRN1976 specializes in RN.

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I have worked ALOT in home care and hospice.  over 20 years.   I have had alot of per diem work ( they seem to offer and hire alot PD)    I have always listened to my gut.  If your intuition is off then there is something wrong.  You should never sign an agreement to work x amount of time without being fined.. etc.  Its illegal considering most of our states are at will employers.  You can quit with no reason or even the spot as this law here in Ca anyway allows such acts.  Same the employer can fire you with no reason or cause...

I would NEVER sign anything like this.  I advise you not to.  30 day notice is not customary, and honestly if you have a new job wait for you, they may not hold it 30 days! 

 

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Quote

It isn't illegal to write a contract without an attorney. A contract can be simple or complex and is an agreement between two or more parties. It can be a written or oral agreement. A contract doesn't have to be on a preprinted or standardized form: It can be written on a napkin and still be legitimate. Two parties can agree between themselves and create their own contract. Contract law, however, requires that all contracts must contain certain elements to be valid and enforceable.

 

https://legalbeagle.com/13601517-is-it-illegal-to-write-a-contract-without-a-lawyer.html

Edited by Horseshoe

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Luchador has 5 years experience as a CNA, EMT-B.

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The whole thing just seems weird as hell. If my new employer asked me to hand write my contract on paper to his dictation and put in weird stuff like that I would laugh in his face get up and walk away.

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Jory has 10 years experience as a MSN, APRN, CNM.

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53 minutes ago, Horseshoe said:

Imagine that....a contract written by a non-attorney not being enforceable.  

Go back and read my posts...you seem to have issues with reading comprehension.  The link wasn't even in the stratosphere of answering the question.  

The link didn't address elements not permitted by law....that's important.

The link didn't address having the AUTHORITY to enter into a contract on behalf of another....that's important.

The link didn't address what is called the "spirit" of the law...this is especially true in employment contracts...even if it  contains all of the required elements...if a court determines the contract is so one-sided it offers no MUTUAL BENEFIT, the entire contract can be considered null and void.  

Oh, and I never stated it was "illegal" to write a contract if you were not an attorney.  I stated you would have trouble getting it enforced and can be considered "practicing law without a license".  

Do you what they teach in law school with regards to contracts? Required elements.  I don't think a manager of a home health agency is going to be able to hit all of those elements plus they don't have the authority to enter into an employment contract.  

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9 minutes ago, Jory said:

Imagine that....a contract written by a non-attorney not being enforceable.  

Go back and read my posts...you seem to have issues with reading comprehension.  The link wasn't even in the stratosphere of answering the question.  

The link didn't address elements not permitted by law....that's important.

The link didn't address having the AUTHORITY to enter into a contract on behalf of another....that's important.

The link didn't address what is called the "spirit" of the law...this is especially true in employment contracts...even if it  contains all of the required elements...if a court determines the contract is so one-sided it offers no MUTUAL BENEFIT, the entire contract can be considered null and void.  

Oh, and I never stated it was "illegal" to write a contract if you were not an attorney.  I stated you would have trouble getting it enforced and can be considered "practicing law without a license".  

Do you what they teach in law school with regards to contracts? Required elements.  I don't think a manager of a home health agency is going to be able to hit all of those elements plus they don't have the authority to enter into an employment contract.  

First of all, I did NOT address YOU, dispute any of your points, or address any specific question. I was adding something to the thread just like anyone else.

My link actually confirms several your points (though certainly not all), thus was not posted to oppose yours. That clearly and completely escaped you.

Thirdly, there is absolutely NO reason for you to lobb personal insults (the old "reading comprehension" ad hominem). It's against TOS and is just poor form generally. 

Edited by Horseshoe

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Jory has 10 years experience as a MSN, APRN, CNM.

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17 minutes ago, Horseshoe said:

First of all, I did NOT address YOU, dispute any of your points, or address any specific question. I was adding something to the thread just like anyone else.

My link actually confirms several your points (though certainly not all), thus was not posted to oppose yours. That clearly and completely escaped you.

Thirdly, there is absolutely NO reason for you to lobb personal insults (the old "reading comprehension" ad hominem). It's against TOS and is just poor form generally. 

<yawn>  If you want to discuss personal insults, I think you need to go back and read some of your old posts.

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