When you begin negotiations for a physicians employment contract prior to accepting a new position, it is important that you use this time to your best advantage. To achieve the best results from such negotiations, you must understand the key factors that will affect your employment.
Consider the important points listed below before signing any contract in order to understand what you are signing and know what you want to discuss ahead of time. In many cases, you will want to seek the counsel of an attorney who is experienced with physicians employment agreements.
Compensation plans can be complicated, making them a frequent topic of physicians employment contract negotiations. Confirm your salary in advance so you understand what is being offered in terms of base salary, whether it is guaranteed, and for how long.
Ask about incentives and what you must do to qualify for them. Most importantly, do some research to determine whether the offered rate is comparable to other physicians in your area with the same skills. If the offered amount is not comparable, bring it up during negotiations.
2. Employee Benefits
In addition to your salary, you must also confirm any other benefits being offered to determine if they are sufficient. Benefits could include medical insurance, continuing education costs, licensing fees, malpractice insurance, and stipends, all of which are typically offered by most medical practices. You will also want to discuss vacation time, sick leave, and PTO before signing a physicians employment agreement. Ask if there is a retirement package available.
3. Schedule Obligations
After considering what a potential employer has to offer, take some time to think about the services you are expected to give back. Clarify your work schedule, especially any required on-call time, paying particular attention to how open the employer leaves this issue.
If you have specific scheduling requirements, the time to discuss them for inclusion with your physicians employment agreement is during the employment contract negotiations period. Make sure your call schedule is not heavier than any other similarly-employed physician and discuss how on-call compensation is handled.
4. Employment Terms and Termination
Typically, all employers contract for "termination with cause." Some may also add "termination without cause" to their employment agreements, which is something you should discuss during negotiations. For "termination with cause," look for some type of inclusion that includes an opportunity to correct any issues causing a problem. In either case, make sure the terms of the contract state that you will receive adequate notice on either termination situation.
Confirm any employment term guarantees. They do protect you; however, they also commit you to that same term as well.
5. Restrictive Covenants
You want to look for any restrictive covenants that could apply after you terminate employment with the practice. Confirm whether these covenants are legal in your state and what the legal limitations are on these restrictions. Some employers may negotiate on location limitations or specific termination circumstances they will uphold.
Accepting a new job can be an exciting time for you. Yet before you accept any offer, consider the important details in the employment agreement that could make or break a positive employment experience. Use the negotiations period wisely by asking questions and understanding your options ahead of time.
In most cases, it would be a wise decision to seek the assistance of a lawyer who is experienced with physicians employment agreements. Through skillful employment contract negotiations, you can reach a favorable agreement and get started in your new position!
The Stevenson Law Firm, PC
6302 W. Broadway, Suite 120
Pearland, TX 77581
Phone: (832) 481-4548