If you are considering a position as a physician, it is important to be alert to certain issues when negotiating an employment agreement. While there would be many complex factors that a health care lawyer can help work out in more detail, there are also a few basic aspects of a contract to keep in mind. Such immediately apparent aspects include the compensation and benefits offered, the exact obligations of the position, the specifics of termination, and restrictions the position could possibly cause in the future.
Fair Compensation and Benefits
Ensure that you have a guaranteed base salary for as long as possible, and compare this compensation to similarly-experienced physician positions in your area. If an employer offers incentive payments, be sure to look in detail at the qualifications and calculations that determine those incentives. Also look out for commonly-offered benefits, such as health insurance, medical staff dues, education stipends, or retirement plans.
Scheduling and Coverage Obligations
Generally, employers leave scheduling provisions flexible so that physicians can effectively keep up with the varying needs of their patients. Make clear schedule expectations to ensure that they align with the requirements of the employer. If the employer makes any promises about your schedule, try to get those specifics incorporated into the employment agreement. Any obligations relating to call and coverage should be made clear in the employment agreement.
Termination and Restrictive Covenants
Keep in mind that many employers include a “without cause” termination provision in their employment agreements. This allows for either you or the employer to terminate your employment without cause, generally with written notice 30 to 90 days prior. Also, make sure to understand any restrictive covenants that may show up in the contract. If an employer has a restrictive covenant, this will typically limit your ability to practice in that region after termination for 12 to 24 months. Ask if the employer will agree to limit the instances in which restrictive covenants are enforced, particularly in situations in which you terminate your employment with cause.
Philadelphia Health Care Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates P.C. Help Physicians Negotiate Terms of Their Employment Contract
The above factors are only a few of the many to consider when negotiating an employment agreement. The Philadelphia health care lawyers of Sidney L. Gold & Associates P.C. can help you with the many intricacies of health care employment. Complete our online contact form or call us at 215-569-1999 to schedule a consultation. From our Philadelphia offices, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York.