Has any one heard of a facility telling you that if you take the position you are required to work with them for a year, or 2 years? What happens if you move in this situation/have a major life change? I am not talking about you just decide to take a different job in town or in the hospital. Are these legal? I have seen the contracts requiring you to work for them for a year because they paid for you to move there, or they gave you a sign-on bonus, or they paid for your school (and then you are required to pay them back if you don't follow through on your contract). But how does it work for like a specialty area...and there is no money involved? Thanks.
Aug 18, '10
There is money involved (for them) because they have to train you. This is not that uncommon. It is legal, it is a simple contract. You should ask them, yes you intend to fulfill your contract but what happens if you have an unexpected life change? If you don't like their terms feel free to negotiate, the worst that can happen is they say no. Then you can decide if the terms are acceptable or not. They just want to get a return on their training investment. But, be careful. A friend of mine just walked out of such a contract because he hated it. They treated him poorly because they knew he couldn't just quit. Just don't be too hasty or desperate. Talk to other people who work there (ask to do a shadow shift) and get a feel for the environment. It could be that instead of practicing good management, their strategy for retention is to get new people to sign contracts.
Aug 18, '10
I have seen/heard of it, especially with new nurses. I'm thinking anywhere they invest money training you could involve a possible contract. One hospital around here does a year long contract & it's $1000 to break that contract. I've never heard or seen the specifics of the contracts though, so I don't know about "major life changes".
In my opinion, there is always money involved.
Aug 18, '10
Thanks. I have been working for the facility as a floor nurse for the past year but I have heard through the grapevine that they do this in the O.R. for example, and that they have you on contract for 2 years. I have not seen the specifics of the contract either, but it is a little concerning and I wasn't sure if this was common or not. I appreciate your feedback.
Aug 19, '10
I keep in mind that when someone wants me to sign a contract they're not doing it to benefit me. Get a copy and read it. I'd bet it has them holding all the cards. If you're penalized for breaking the contract, are they if they break it? Does it have very specific conditions under which they can break the contract? Also keep in mind that generally such legal documents are written by lawyers to give them an advantage in arguing with other lawyers. Will they allow you to take the contract to your own lawyer? I'm not against the idea per se, but you need to protect yourself. The hospital will go to great lengths to protect itself. Could be a great deal, I'd like to hear anything you can find out about it. Great question, thanks for the post.
Aug 19, '10
One of the hospital systems in my area has the new grads sign a 2 year contract, when you apply to their internship you are given a copy with all the terms and conditions of the contract.
They train you for 18 weeks with clinical, classroom, and after the 18 weeks the 2 year clock starts.
According to the hospital the training is worth 10k so if you leave it is based on a prorated rate, so if you leave after 12 monts you owe the hospital 5k
Aug 19, '10
There was a similar thread to this one a few weeks back, apparently these "contracts" are becoming more popular.
In the US most employment contracts are considered "at will" employment, and either party may end the contract at will. The employee does have a little more protection then the employer as they can file suit for wrongful termination under some conditions.
The employer cannot demand that someone work for a certain amount of time, that is slavery. What they can do is say "We are investing X dollars in you for training. If you leave before a certain time period, you will have to repay us the money we invested in your training". They have been around for years in other industries. One that comes to mind is truck driving. Trucking companies will pull people off the street with no experience and train them to get their CDL license, then they will have to drive for them for 1-2 years, or they will have to pay them back for the training, usually several thousand dollars.
As was stated earlier, these contracts are going to benefit the employer more than the employee, so be sure and read them carefully.
Aug 20, '10
Thanks! I have often heard of them for new hires to a facility if the facility pays for the move, and also for new grads, but had not heard of it happening within a facility to a different specialty! I will update when I hear more
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