Any thoughts or suggestions are appreciated: I have been waiting to start an assignment in Oakland,CA for over a month because they said they were okay with me not being available on Tuesdays and that is necessary for me. Tuesdays off were written into my contract; they were also discussed and approved in my interview. Two days before my first day I got an email with orientation directions stating they would be Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I immediately notified my company that the schedule states I should be there Tuesday and I am not available and I tried to work out an alternative arrangement. They did not respond to my request for an alternative arrangement and told my company it was non negotiable. I showed up late Tuesday to see if someone could go over the paperwork I missed and they told me I cannot work because Tuesdays are the only day they do this. I'm betting it would take less than an hour to go over the stuff I missed but instead they want to be down an entire nurse and all the staff and patients will suffer because they were expecting me. I've just moved 3000k miles and paid rent. I was transparent about this-This is a nightmare. I feel that this is a breech of contract and if they are allowed to do this with no consequences, what is a contract worth anyway?
How totally frustrating and annoying! Your agency should be going to bat for you on this. (Other than that, we can't give legal advice.)
Thanks for the emotional support! My agency is trying to work it out and also find me another position in the area.
Glad to hear it! Good luck and God bless.
Anytime I've started a new nursing job orientation week has always been non-negotiable. When I couldn't do one day one week, they pushed my start date back and told me they did this to give me time to make arrangements so I could plan on being there 5 days the first week, non-negotiable.
I imagine they would have honored your Tuesday request except for orientation week. They should have put it in your contract. Or maybe they did in the fine print, where it says you must attend the mandatory orientation sessions? It seems they didn't think of this when writing your contract, so you got the raw end of the deal.
ETA: I'm not saying this is right, I'm just thinking this is a possibility as to what happened.
Last edit by DowntheRiver on Oct 12
: Reason: ETA
I think this is precisely what happened. It's just a blanket statement in my contract 'no Tuesdays' but they told me that this would be the only one. It was an oversight since I didn't get instructions till Friday afternoon. I would have done anything to make the orientation work on any other day or part of the day. The frustrating part is I only missed a few hours and they said, "do you really need this stuff?, probably not! but we need the papers signed." I feel like it would be so easy for them to quickly catch me up on missed paperwork and move forward! instead they are down an entire nurse. I waited a month for this orientation and just came 3,000 and paid 4k rent. I don't know what to do!
Recruiter here so my information is based from a recruiter/agency instead of a nurses. The contract that you sign might not have anything to do with the facility actually because they often will have travelers sign a separate contract when they arrive with their personal HR department. The contract your agency sent you could just strictly be between you and the agency to hold you to certain parameters. I can't say for sure, but with my agency and the other agencies I have spoken too this is how they conduct their contracts. If this is case then there is no breach of contract because the hospital/facility has not formally agreed to anything. I would talk to your agency/recruiter and see if there is a cancellation agreement for them, sometimes agencies/recruiters are able to bill facilities for 2 weeks and pay you if the contract cancelled.
As others have mentioned the orientation is most likely the variable that is causing the issue with the start date here. Many facilities have very specific start dates that are not flexible and will push back travelers weeks if not months if you miss orientation. I know of a few hospitals that only do orientation on the second Tuesday of every month and if it is missed they'd have to wait until next month to start.
I believe that your agency dropped the ball a little bit on this part and should've reached out to the facility ahead of time to discuss orientation. We don't have control of when facilities do orientation and often are not told that far in advance about when orientation begins, but I believe with your unique situation they may have been able to swing something. Your agency should've never let you drive out and pay for housing without your assignment being 100%.
I'm sorry to hear about what has happened to you, but sadly it is not uncommon that facilities do this to their travelers. I would take a look around at some PRN agencies and see if you can pick up a few shifts here or there while you wait for your agency to find you an appropriate assignment. Best of luck to you.
Was your contract cancelled on Tuesday night after you showed up or was it cancelled before then because you were unable to attend orientation?
Not a lawyer, but a fellow traveler. Read your contract. You were not required to work the UNIT on Tuesdays.
HR has their own rules. If they required one Tuesday for orientation.. you needed to do that.
Pick your battles.
That makes sense. I would have been flexible but I am a grad student NP. I have live tests on Tuesdays. I had to choose between school and this new job;I wanted to have both and I thought I could. I had to choose my future. :/
Thanks so much for your detailed advice. I will ask my recruiter about a cancellation fee. My team did reach out on Friday when I received the first week instructions and we tried to resolve it to no avail. What should have happened is we figured out if it was possible before I got here. I still find it hard to believe that instead of taking an hour or two to review the small part I missed they are willing to be out an entire traveler. The contract was canceled Tuesday afternoon when I showed up late. I attended Monday orientation but was unable to speak to the same people that would run Tuesday.
Another thing to add to your list of questions to ask in your phone interview with the manager. If you and the manager and your agency and HR had known at that point, maybe they would have been able to work something out ahead of time. Maybe not, but now you know to ask details about orientation week.
The situation stinks for you though. I hope they are able to find you something asap.
Last edit by Swellz on Oct 13
: Reason: Just cuz
Thank you so much for your sensitivity. It really stinks, but I'm hoping an even better opportunity will be coming soon!
I understand the orientation days are usually non-negotiable but I've never heard the part about the agency/hospital contracts being completely separate....
I understand that there is a nurse-agency contract and that there is an agency-hospital contract. I get that.
But your explanation stated (if I'm reading it right), that an agency can agree to the Tuesdays off (for example), the nurse signs in good faith, but that the hospital by no means has to agree to that when the nurse arrives to work? Because the actual "hospital contract" can be totally different? That's pretty scary.
I'm a fairly new traveler but I've never run into anything like this! Again, I'm not referring to orientation week. I know that's always a whole different animal.
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