Contracts with sign-on bonuses

  1. Like an idiot, I took a 2 year contract with a sign on bonus that was paid to me. If I leave, I have to pay it back, obviously. I realized quickly that there is no such thing as a free ride. The facility fires people left and right all the time, sometimes for no good reason-it's alot of politics. They laid off a bunch of nurses to keep the hospital afloat. I get no breaks and I am told dont even bother trying to charge for it-because the last nurse that did report them to the Labor Board, was made so miserable that she had to quit.
    I am definitely not staying for my whole contract, but just dont know how I will come up with all that money to pay them back before I quit, unless I make a payment plan or something.
    Please help.
    Has anyone out there left a contract before it was up? (one with a sign on bonus). by the way, i am not a traveler-i am a direct hire to the hospital.
    Last edit by texascowgirl on Mar 9, '07 : Reason: add question
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    About texascowgirl

    Joined: Mar '06; Posts: 163; Likes: 31
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    Specialty: 16 year(s) of experience in ER, PACU, CORRECTIONAL HEALTH, FLIGHT

    13 Comments

  3. by   TazziRN
    Can you call the Labor Board anonymously?

    How much more time left on your contract? If it's only a few months, I'd say stick it out if you can. If not.....line up another job before you go and try to get a loan to pay back the bonus.
  4. by   texascowgirl
    i dont know if i can call the labor board anonymously. will find out. i have over a year left on the contract, but i dont want to sign another one year lease on my house and be stuck here. i cant get loans due to bad credit, so i will just make a repayment plan with the facility...

    Quote from TazziRN
    Can you call the Labor Board anonymously?

    How much more time left on your contract? If it's only a few months, I'd say stick it out if you can. If not.....line up another job before you go and try to get a loan to pay back the bonus.
  5. by   PickyRN
    The hospital where I work does it differently:

    I think most hospitals pay you the entire sign on bonus at the beginning of your time, and then you are required to stay for the specified time. My hospital has a 18 month sign on bonus. They give you 20% after you complete orientation, then 20% more six months later, then 20% six months later, then the rest of it (40%) at the end of the time. Given the 2 month orientation, it actually takes 20 months to get the entire amount, but you can leave at any time and you don't have to pay anything back. However, whenever you leave, you give up the rest of the bonus (whatever you haven't received yet).
  6. by   meandragonbrett
    Yes, you should be able to be annonymous when calling the labor board.
  7. by   justme1972
    If they say you can't make an annonymous complaint (where I live, you can't), explain to them that they are targeting nurses to the point of forcing them to quit that have called in the past.

    Trust me, they will have a record of previous complainers and will have alot of explaining to do if they do a check and find out that everyone who complained is now out of a job.
  8. by   meandragonbrett
    You might want to check online to see if you can file a complaint electronically.
  9. by   TraumaICURN
    Talk to your nurse recruiter about pay back options and re-read your contract. When I accepted my sign-on bonus, I was told that it was pro-rated. So, for instance, if I had a $5000 bonus with a 2 yr contract and left after one year, I would have to repay only $2500.
  10. by   texascowgirl
    no, i got my 5K the first month and have to pay the whole thing back even if i leave 2 days before 2 years....

    Quote from TraumaICURN
    Talk to your nurse recruiter about pay back options and re-read your contract. When I accepted my sign-on bonus, I was told that it was pro-rated. So, for instance, if I had a $5000 bonus with a 2 yr contract and left after one year, I would have to repay only $2500.
  11. by   Lacie
    Personally consult an attorney and take it from there. Ask him/her what you best options would be and if there is any type of loophole in the contract. If conditions are that horrid for you, sometimes taking the loss of cash is better than putting up with where you are unhappy. Quick burnout that way.
  12. by   texascowgirl
    dont you think it would cost quite a bit to get an attorney just for that?
    doubt there is any loophole. the only thing they are doing wrong is breaking labor board laws and not making sure we get breaks.
    yes the conditions are that bad, that it is worth me paying back...and i will, just wont be able to pay all at once...

    Quote from Lacie
    Personally consult an attorney and take it from there. Ask him/her what you best options would be and if there is any type of loophole in the contract. If conditions are that horrid for you, sometimes taking the loss of cash is better than putting up with where you are unhappy. Quick burnout that way.
  13. by   dazey71
    that's scary. i'm from texas, too. what region are you in? i got paid a sign on bonus, and they won't let me leave until i've been there exactly one year.
  14. by   ZootRN
    Quote from texascowgirl
    dont you think it would cost quite a bit to get an attorney just for that?
    doubt there is any loophole. the only thing they are doing wrong is breaking labor board laws and not making sure we get breaks.
    yes the conditions are that bad, that it is worth me paying back...and i will, just wont be able to pay all at once...
    I've never heard of the hospital making sure nurses get breaks. It is your responsibility to organize your day in a way that will allow for breaks (which many of us found to be impossible with current staffing ratios). Offer to cover for other people so they can get breaks, and ask to cover you so you can get yours. I actually noticed that nurses I work with are proud do not take breaks (kind of perverted martyr-like work ethics), which is ridiculous to me. I may take late break, but I'll never run 12 hours shift without one.

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