Wrongful Termination – What it is and How to Deal with it

Wrongful termination refers to when an employment contract is terminated — in other words, the employee is fired — for illegal reasons. The most complicated part about the judicial process of a wrongful termination case is determining whether the termination was truly illegal or whether it was simply unfair. The employment contract is usually drafted to protect both the employer and the employee, and for the contract to be terminated, it has to be in accordance with the contract terms. If the terms are violated by either party, the other has to right to take it to court. The lawyer for this type of case will also have to determine whether the employer has broken a state or federal law in terminating the contract. A wrongful dismissal can be highly disruptive to a person’s growth and integrity in the future, which is why it must be taken seriously. The same is true for physicians as well, as these professionals and many other medical practitioners work in a private medical group, office, or clinic. These private entities are practically a company in itself, and they must obey the employment laws just like any other type of business. We’ll be talking about employment contracts and what qualifies as an illegal termination of the employment contract in this article. The employment contract As briefly mentioned, an employment contract is a binding contract that determines what the employer and employee are expected to do. It also includes the conditions of employment, which if the employee violates, the contract can be terminated without any legal consequences. This is to protect the employer, as you wouldn’t want to risk a court case every time you fire someone who has seriously broken the code of conduct or professional etiquette. It’s especially important in the medical industry, as a violation of medical standards can put patients at risk of injury, infection, and other serious issues. The employment contract should also include how the contract is to be terminated in detail so that there’s no confusion for what each party is expected to do if the contract is to be terminated prematurely. Protection against discrimination The employment contract will protect either party from being discriminated against due to their race, gender, age, body...

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10 Reasons Why You Should Have a Lawyer Review Your Severance Agreement

Severance pay is worth a lot, especially if the job has a high base salary. It’s mandatory in some states, which means you can get guaranteed severance pay after you leave a job. If you’re quitting a job, but you aren’t sure whether your severance agreement is fair or not, you can have an attorney review the agreement for you. Here are ten areas in which an attorney can help when it comes to your severance agreement situation: The Severance Payment: Naturally, the severance payment should be included in the agreement, but in most states, the employer must pay this money regardless of whether the agreement is signed. An attorney can help to review the fairness of the severance according to the nature of the job. The Money the Employer Owes: Every entitled benefit can be claimed for monetary value, and if the employee has unclaimed benefits that are not reflected in the severance, a lawyer may be in order. They can help to negotiate with the employer to ensure that the departing employee gets everything that they deserve. Employee Benefits: Some benefits may not be terminated at the end of the employment contract, and the employee should retain these benefits. If the employer seizes these benefits and withholds them from the employee, the employee should look for a lawyer to deal with the issue. 4. The Release of Claims: Sometimes, the employer will claim something from the departing employee. This is a very common occurrence, and sometimes the claim is fair, and sometimes it’s not. If the claim is a violation of the employee’s rights, a lawyer can come in and negotiate for a release of those claims. Non-Disparagement and References: Non-disparagement agreements are usually a part of a severance agreement. It’s an agreement in which the departing employee agrees not to disclose any confidential information of the former employer. An NDA can be rather restricting, and if it’s worded unfairly, it can prevent the career advancement of departing employee. An attorney can negotiate for a new NDA to ensure that both parties can have their rights reserved without losing any benefits. Integration Clauses: Verbal agreements are not binding, and sadly, it’s very common to see an employer promise one thing verbally and...

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What To Know About Physician Compensation Payment

Fresh out of training, it’s hard to get your head around compensation. The modest stipend you’ve been making won’t prepare you for what you will earn now. This means you could either underestimate or dramatically overestimate what you think you’ll get. Some practices still base compensation on the physician’s share of collections, which is a pretty easy concept to understand. Increasingly, however, payment even in practices is based on productivity. As a new physician, it can be hard to understand the concept of compensation claims & physician contracts. There are many questions that come up when you hear the term medical compensation, and in this article, we’ll aim to answer some of the ones you may have   Work Relative Value Units   Depending on your payment type, there are a few different ways a physician is paid, one of which is production evaluation through work relative value units (wRVUs). Each employer has a different set of wRVUs that a physician is expected to carry out, and this standard has to be consulted with the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA). As long as the reimbursement policy complies with MGMA standards, there shouldn’t be any problem. There are six factors that MGMA takes into consideration when they’re reviewing the wRVUs: practice ownership, group type, geographic region, demographics, number of partners, and call responsibilities. These factors play a major role in how much you can get out of your compensation negotiation. It’s difficult to gauge how much you can expect to get paid, but these factors will give you a general idea of your salary range. What You Need to Know About Compensation The wRVUs can be considered as a commission, as you will still have a baseline salary. If your salary is quite high already, the practice may pay the physicians a fixed rate that isn’t based on their performance. If that’s the case, you shouldn’t expect the compensation to be very high either. Your first-year salary doesn’t determine what you will get later on The first year salary is not indicative of how much you will get later on, especially if the compensation plan of the practice is focused more on future growth and retention. On the contrary, some practices will actually offer you...

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NEW JERSEY SOON TO EXPERIENCE SHORTAGE OF NURSES

By 2030, New Jersey will have the third largest nurse shortage in the country – a shortage of more than 11,000 nurses.  This according to the US Health Resources and Services Administration. It appears that statistically, because of the recession, nurses were putting off retirement and stayed in the workforce a little longer.  Now with the uptick in the economy, nurses are beginning to retire.  The problem is not that new nurses are unavailable, but that the nursing schools are understaffed.  The shortage of appropriate skilled teachers across the country means the nursing schools are not able to take in as many students as are applying. According to Professor Dr. Nadine Aktan, nursing schools are turning away qualified applicants in droves because of the faculty shortage.  The American Association of Colleges of Nurses says that in 2017 more than 56,000 qualified applicants were turned away from undergraduate nursing programs across the...

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How Definitions in your Physician Employment Contract Have a Changing Impact on your Career

Physicians should be aware that definitions contained within a physician employment contract may have one meaning today, but will have a very different practical effect years from now. One of the most importation components of a physician employment agreement is the non-competition provision.  Those provisions typically provide that the physicians may not engage in competing behavior after the termination of the contract for a specified period of time within a defined geographic area.  The definition of prohibited geographic area varies from contract to contract.  In some cases, the definition will be a specified radius from the primary location of the employer’s office (ie: 10 miles from the employer’s office located at 10 Main Street, Anywhere, USA). Other times however the prohibited geographic area might be defined as a certain specified radius from wherever the employer may conduct business.  This latter type of definition may have a profound effect.  For example, consider that at the time the physician begins employment, the employer only does business at 10 Main Street, Anywhere, USA.  However, five or ten years down the road, because of mergers or aggressive growth, the employer now does business throughout most of North, Central, or Southern New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, etc.  Then, when the employment agreement is terminated, the employer may very well successfully argue that the physician must essentially relocate to another part of the state in order to avoid being in violation of the literal terms of the employment agreement, as the geographic area in which the employer does business – has grown. Definitions are important.  Contact Romanowsky Law today in order to avoid pitfalls which may impact your...

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Will NJ Join the Multi-State Nursing Licensing Group?

Recently, the New Jersey State Assembly voted unanimously to advance the latest version of a Bill that would enable the Garden State to sign on to a growing collaboration that already includes Delaware, Maryland and most of the Southeast.  The Bill was sponsored by Democrat Herb Conoway, Jr. who presented the Bill in June of 2016.  “The current system of duplicative licensure for nurses practicing in multiple states is cumbersome and redundant for both nurses and states; and uniformity of nurse licensure requirements throughout the state promotes public safety and public health benefits,” reads the latest version of the Bill.  Some nursing groups however have raised concerns that joining the pact could lower the standards of the State of New Jersey.  They point out that potentially less stringent requirements of other states would enable prospective nurses to find employment in New Jersey to the detriment of New Jersey residents.  As of 2005, the group comprising the consortium who have adopted the legislation had grown to 25 states.  Multi-state licensing legislation is pending in five additional jurisdictions including New Jersey and Massachusetts.   If the State legislature elects to adopt the legislation, it will need to do so shortly as there are only a handful of voting dates available before the legislation ends in...

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