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COVID-19 Nursing Alert

Posted by on Mar 27, 2020 in Coronavirus Help | 0 comments

Romanowsky Law has been contacted by a number of nurses who seek to determine what their responsibilities are during the COVID-19 emergency situation.  Specifically, nurses who are reluctant to work in this environment for a number of reasons have been threatened by their employers to be “reported” to the New Jersey Board of Nursing.

For its part the New Jersey Board of Nursing issued a “COVID-19 Policy Statement” it reads as follows:

Licensees of the New Jersey Board of Nursing have a proud history of providing compassionate and quality care to patients with all disease and sicknesses, including infectious diseases.

Licensees of this Board are expected to treat patients who are suspected of or diagnosed with COVID-19, when the licensee possesses the skill and experience to treat the condition presented and when the licensee has been appropriately trained and adequately equipped for the proper care of such patients.

The role of the Board is to protect the public of this State.  The Board will hold nurses to their professional and ethical responsibilities and to the social contract which their licenses reflect.

The “Policy” raises a number of interesting questions, the answers to which are not immediately known.  While the licensees of the Board are “expected to treat patients who are suspected of or diagnosed with COVID-19”, is the Board’s “expectation” something which is enforceable by the Board?

Further, note that the “expectation” of the Board exists, “…when the licensee has been appropriately trained and adequately equipped for the proper care of such patients.”  Does the Board’s “expectation” then, exist where the nurse has not been appropriately trained and adequately equipped?

Finally, the Board indicates its intention to, “hold nurses to their professional and ethical responsibilities” and to the “social contract” which their licenses reflect. While it is true that nurse’s license may reflect ethical and professional responsibilities, to what extent is an ethical and professional responsibility enforceable?

For now, Romanowsky Law suggests that if you are terminating your work because you were not properly trained or adequately equipped for caring for COVID-19 infected patients, this fact should be documented by you to your employer at the time you give appropriate notice.

Romanowsky Law will be prepared to represent your interests before the Board should the Board attempt to take action with respect to your license.

Good luck and be safe.

New Jersey Relaxes Healthcare Worker Certification Requirements

Posted by on Mar 24, 2020 in Coronavirus Help | 0 comments

In light of the current national emergency, Governor Murphy of New Jersey signed legislation which effectively eases the requirements of healthcare laborers who seek to work within New Jersey’s healthcare industry.  Rather than sit for examinations, complete required schooling, and otherwise seek licensure, prospective out-of-state employees who are certified in another jurisdiction, and who have worked in the healthcare industry within the past five (5) years may seek employment within the state of New Jersey by filling out a simple form.  It is expected that this will be a temporary change to the current licensing requirements.  Contact Romanowsky Law for more information: https://romanowskylaw.com/contact-romanowsky-law/

 

 

The Families First Coronavirus Act Imposes New Requirements on Employers Effective April 2, 2020

Posted by on Mar 24, 2020 in Coronavirus Help | 0 comments

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “Act”) requires certain employers to provide benefits which are in addition to those already required by the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act.

Effective April 2, 2020, employers will have to provide covered employees their regular rate of pay if the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined, or on the advice of a healthcare provider, is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis.

Additionally, covered employees must be paid 2/3 of the employee’s regular rate of pay if the employee is unable to work because of a bona fide need to care for an individual subject to quarantine, or care for a child whose school or childcare provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19, and/or the employee is experiencing a substantial or similar condition as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of the Treasury and Labor.  The Act does not apply to certain employers who are deemed to work in the “healthcare industry” and the Secretary of the Department of Labor is given authorization to determine when employers can be given relief from the Act for “good cause”.  As of March 24, 2020, the Secretary of Labor has not identified which specific businesses may enjoy the exemption.

It is worthy to note too, that the Act may not apply to employers of less than 50 employees where imposition of the Act could have a negative detrimental effect on the long term viability of the employer.

Because the Act is not retroactive, it has the perverse effect of encouraging employers to terminate their employees before the effective date (April 2, 2020).

Finally, employers may receive a tax incentive if they are compelled to comply with the Act

Contact Romanowsky Law now for more guidance on this subject: https://romanowskylaw.com/contact-romanowsky-law/

All You Need to Know About a Physician’s Letter of Intent

Posted by on Sep 2, 2019 in Physician Contract Tips | 0 comments

All You Need to Know About a Physician’s Letter of Intent

A physician’s employment contract helps to protect both the employer and the practitioner to ensure that their rights are reserved. 

One of the documents that play a part in how a contract is prepared is the physician’s letter of intent, which helps both parties have more precise expectations of what each of them needs. In this article, we’ll tell you all about what’s often included in the letter of intent and what it does for a medical practitioner in New Jersey.

What is the letter of intent? 

The LOI is a document that details the demands and expectations of the physician. It may not be used as a contract, but it can and will be used by an employer as a guide when he or she drafts the offer letter or contract. 

What is included in the LO? 

A letter of intent will typically include the basic terms of the employer’s arrangement with the employee, such as compensation, pay benefits and how much the physician expects to earn in a year or given period of time. 

For example, if they’re looking to make around $200,000 a year, the employer can look at their resume and assess whether they’re worth the quoted amount or if they need to negotiate a different amount. 

However, you need to keep in mind that the salary noted in the agreement is always final on your end and it will not look good if you try to ask for anything higher than that without good reason. You need to keep that in mind before submitting an LOI. 

What does the LOI do? 

The most important thing you have to understand about the LOI is that the major terms included in it are not legally binding in any way. The LOI is used by both parties to help each other understand their needs and expectations, which means that contract negotiation can take place between the two before the deal is finalized. 

The LOI will often include a clause stating that if any legal issues will arise from the case, each party will have to be responsible for their own legal fees. Furthermore, the LOI will often state that its contents are confidential and must remain a secret between the physician and exclusively with the employer. 

How do I write an LOI? 

There are many examples of how to write an LOI on the internet and you can use those as a guide to writing your own. Nonetheless, you need to keep in mind that the terms and agreements you put in your LOI should fit your needs. 

Think about the specific needs that you need to have met, including your primary responsibilities and concerns. Lastly, you should also detail your plans for the future including your timetable, as that will give the employer a more comprehensive guideline for what they should do with you. 

Do I need to have my lawyer go over the LOI? 

For the first draft of the LOI, you typically don’t need to work with a lawyer, as it’s usually not incredibly detailed. However, you must make sure that you note in the LOI which parts of the document are negotiable, as that will help your prospective employer save time and effort by not having to go over everything before the contract is drafted. 

Once you see the contract, we recommend that you have a professional lawyer go through it to make sure that everything is in order. If there are clauses in the contract that aren’t aligned with what you and your employer discussed and what you wrote in your LOI, it will be used as a point of argument against your employer. 

If the case is to go to court, the signed LOI will be a crucial piece of evidence that the physician can use against the employer. 

If you’re looking to have your physician contract reviewed in New Jersey, Romano Sky Law is your best option. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help.

Reasons Why You Should Always Give Notice Before Quitting Your Physician Job

Posted by on Aug 27, 2019 in Physician Contract Tips | 0 comments

Reasons Why You Should Always Give Notice Before Quitting Your Physician Job

In any professional career, there are times when you may not feel satisfied with the current work you have and consider moving on to other opportunities. However, in most employment contracts — including a physician employment agreement — you must give at least two weeks’ notice before quitting. You may think that there’s no real consequence to you or the medical office if you decide to leave on that very day, but in reality, you are under a legal obligation to give your employer a heads up. In this article we’ll talk about what can happen if you don’t give your employer notice before quitting:

You may be responsible for the practice’s monetary losses 

If you were taking care of a patient before you quit, the office would have to replace your requirements with someone else. This can cause financial damage to the medical office. There are usually clauses in the contract about how this sort of financial loss is compensated. Most of the time, if any damage is to arise from the physician’s failure to notify the employer of their resignment, they may be responsible for those damages. This can be added on top of the additional legal fees and documentation, which can end up costing twice your salary. 

You may hurt your credentials 

When you quit without notice, it indicates a level of unprofessionalism, which will hurt your credentials in the long-run. It can have a detrimental effect on you when you’re applying for a new job, as you may not be able to put your last workplace in the resume. When the new employer reference checks your old medical office, they may get a bad review from your former employer. This can hurt your chances of negotiating for a higher salary or even getting the job in the first place. 

As a medical professional, it’s imperative that you always present yourself professionally and with standards, as that will have an effect on your future employability and credibility. 

You will be unable to claim unpaid bonuses 

f you have any bonuses left unpaid or any unused vacation days that you could get compensated for, you won’t be able to claim it if you quit without notice. The employer may claim that you did not abide by the contract; therefore, the bonuses you are owed will then become voided. If this is the case, you will have to work with an attorney to review the contracts and cross-reference it with the employment laws. Often times, you will be able to file to claim for these withheld payments, but it may require a legal battle. You should keep in mind that if you breach the physician’s employment contract, your chances of actually getting the amount due are very slim. 

What we recommend you do

It’s imperative that you always give your employer notice before quitting; the longer, the better. This will give them time to prepare for your departure, as they will have the chance to adapt the work process to ensure that everything runs smoothly. If you leave without any notice, not only will you be exposing yourself to a hefty lawsuit, but you will be causing a detrimental effect on both the medical office and the other employees. What’s worse is that it will be on your permanent record in which all of your future employers will be able to see.  

Having such a stain in your records will make push your progress back for several years, as your employers may see you as a risky investment. This may prevent them from wanting to hire you for a significant position in the organization. The aftermath of this action may be of a much greater detriment to your future than any monetary loss. 

If you’re looking for a law office that specializes in physician employment contracts, Romano Sky Law is your best option. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help. 

Governor Murphy Signs Multi-State Nurse Licensing Act

Posted by on Jul 26, 2019 in Law | 0 comments

Governor Murphy has signed the Uniform Multi-State Licensing Act which allows nurses, under certain conditions, to practice without additional licensure in other states which are parties to the Act.

The Act requires that the nurse secure a “multi-state license” from their home state before they can commence work in the state of another party to the Act.

Nurses who secure a multi-state license from other states which are party to the act may now work in NJ.

For more, contact Romanowsky Law today. (973) 451-1116

Changes To The Continuing Education Requirements of Psychological Examiners

Posted by on Jul 19, 2019 in Law | 0 comments

The State Board of Psychological Examiners has proposed an amendment to the rules governing the continuing education requirements for licensed psychologists.

The new rules would require that one of the forty required continuing education credits be on topics concerning prescription opioid drugs every biennial renewal period. To learn more, contact Romanowsky Law today. (973) 451-1116.

APNs May Soon Be Able to Dispense Narcotic Drugs for Maintenance or Detoxification Treatment

Posted by on Jul 19, 2019 in Law | 0 comments

The State Board of Nursing has proposed regulations which affect the statute permitting APNs to dispense narcotic drugs for maintenance or detoxification treatment.

Provided the APNs collaborating physician is not required to meet the federal training and registration requirements otherwise imposed by the administrative code, and the collaborating physician provides written approval for the APN to dispense such drugs, the APN will be so authorized. To learn more, contact Romanowsky Law today. (973) 451-1116.

Requirements for licensure of Advanced Practical Nurses May Soon Change

Posted by on Jul 19, 2019 in Law | 0 comments

The State Board of Nursing has proposed a deletion to N.J.A.C. 13:37-7.2 (b). That section of the administrative code requires an applicant for certification as an advanced practice nurse to have completed his/her education no more than two years prior to the submission of an application to the New Jersey State Board of Nursing.

Apparently, the Board has found that several otherwise qualified candidates have not been able to obtain certification due to this requirement and believes that the health and public welfare is better served by deletion of the administrative code provision. To learn more, contact Romanowsky Law today. (973) 451-1116.

New CLE Rules for Ophthalmic Dispensers and Technicians

Posted by on Jul 19, 2019 in Law | 0 comments

The Department of Law and Public Safety, Division of Consumer Affairs, State Board of Medical Examiners has proposed amendments to the rules affecting ophthalmic dispensers and technicians which would require two credits be in statutes and rules governing the practice of ophthalmic dispensing and at least five credits in topics relevant to the practice of ophthalmic dispensing.

The proposed rules would also require licensed ophthalmic dispensers to complete one credit of CLE in blood born pathogens. To learn more, contact Romanowsky Law today. (973) 451-1116.