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I am a physician and need help reviewing a job offer

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Hello, I am a physician...
Hello, I am a physician and need help reviewing a job offer contract in state of NY. Can you help?
Submitted: 3 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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Answered in 6 minutes by:
3/23/2018
Employment Lawyer: Attorney Wendy, Lawyer replied 3 months ago
Attorney Wendy
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,152
Experience: Member at Keefer & Keefer LLC
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Hello. My name is ***** ***** I am an attorney. I would be happy to help. If you have a written offer and can send it via reply to this email, I can take a look. Also let me know if you have any particular concerns on which I should focus.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Hello. thank you for your response. I've attached my contract. Mainly, wanted to see if you can review the contract and let me know if theres any red flags I should address before signing this contract.
1. Are there any benefits that are usually covered in other contracts that I'm not getting in here?
2 Also, there is something mentioned about the limitation of practice when I leave that job and I needed help understanding that.
3. Wanted to negotiate increase the hourly rate to $120 and working one saturday a month instead of every other saturday.
4. There is no mention of maternity leave benefits.
Employment Lawyer: Attorney Wendy, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

Your concerns and the document are great. I will review them now and get back to you shortly.

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Employment Lawyer: Attorney Wendy, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

Below are my thoughts for you to consider:

First, you can certainly negotiate for a higher hourly rate and one less Saturday a month. You will just need to decide if they do not agree to those changes how important they are to you or what else you might propose if they do not accept those changes (e.g., if two Saturdays maybe one less weekday; if not $120/hour maybe $100/hour with such rate to be subject to increase by the mutually agreement of the parties at the time of any renewal of this agreement).

In Section 4, line 7 it says "So long as physician is employed with the company beyond Date ...." I'm not clear what date that is referencing and wonder if a word is missing or if it should be Term instead of Date.

In Section 4(a), when it references the contract terminating if you are absent due to illness or injury for more than 90 days, you may want to add the phrase, "unless such extended leave has been approved by the employer or is leave expressly provided for in any employer policies or benefits"

Section 6's non-solicitaiotn and non-compete provisions are relatively standard. It expressly recognizes patients' rights to choose their own doctors and your right to advertise to the general public. The only real restriction is your ownership interest in a competing practice within a year of leaving. And, it appears to be limited to the street addresses identified. You may want to ask them to clarify exactly what the geographic limits on this provision are - are you just prohibited from competing within those street address ranges? That is how I read it.

As for maternity leave, it is not included (it may be in the employee policies, but I would not count on it); you can ask to include a set amount of paid maternity leave. If the employer is large enough - 50 or more people - you would be entitled to up to 12 weeks unpaid under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Otherwise, it is a pretty standard agreement and I don't see any obvious red flags.

I hope this helps. If you need further assistance, please reply to this email. If I answered your questions and provided excellent service, I would greatly appreciate your 5 star rating at this time.

Please note: This information is for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No course of action is being proposed and no attorney-client relationship or privilege has been formed as a result of this conversation.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Thank you. Could you please clarify your statement "or is leave expressly provided for in any employer policies or benefits"
Do you have any tips on how to negotiate? Or I can send you what I have so far so its easier for you to give your suggestions?
Employment Lawyer: Attorney Wendy, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

Giving suggestions or revisions to how you plan to respond will probably be most efficient.

In terms of my comment regarding leave, the contract references general employee policies that you will abide by. Often more complete descriptions of leave policies such as leave for maternity or illness, leave for jury duty or military service, etc. are spelled out in an employer's policies or handbook rather than in individual contracts. Since your contract does include some reference to these benefits, I would rely more on your individual contract, but you may want to ask if the policies in place provide for any additional leave benefits other than those spelled out in your agreement.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Ok. Including below a draft of the email I've written to negotiate the terms. Please make any changes you think are appropriate. You can change the language too. I want it to be authoritative enough but at the same time respectful.1. I'm currently getting $120 an hour. $85 is almost a 1/3rd pay cut for me. I would appreciate if you can match my current salary. I'll be happy to provide proof of my current salary if required.2. Section 3 - For some reason, I was under the impression that we discussed one Saturday a month on the phone. I might not have accurate recollection. However, I'd really appreciate if we could do 1 Saturday a month. I'd be willing to make myself available by phone in case the PA's who will be in the clinic will have any specific questions. With a brand new baby to take care of and not much support from my husband because of his busy residency schedule, I'd really appreciate if we can change this.3. Line 3 from the top - office location at 116 East 36th Street, New York, New - seems like a typo. (should be NY)4. Line 5 from the top - says "full-time basis" can we change it to "part time basis"5. Section 1 - line 3 - "full time basis" again change to "part time basis"6. Section 1 - Lines 5-7 - Do we have to include all offices? or should we just include the Queens office where I'll be covering.7. Section 3 - Call schedule - How much is the reimbursement for the calls?8. Section 4a - when it references the contract terminating if you are absent due to illness or injury for more than 90 days, can we add the phrase, "unless such extended leave has been approved by the employer" Also, please comment about the policy on maternity leave.9. Section 4 - line 5 - " It shall automatically renew for a 1 year period unless notified 2 months prior ... " Please add - " ... unless notified by either employer or employee 2 months prior..."10. Section 5 - It says physician may be eligible for additional compensation based on productivity. How does this work? Can you please provide details?11. Section 6 - "The foregoing geographic restrictive covenant shall not apply in the event that the Physician’s employment terminates during the initial six (6) months." Can you include the area of the restrictive covenant.12. Section 6 - "Employee agrees that for one year after leaving the Company, Employee will not become a shareholder, member, owner, Employee, or Manager of a competing organization that provides allergy/immunology services." This is a very broad statement. Please delete.13. Section 8 e - "Physician agrees that, during the term of her employment with the Company, she will not engage in any other employment, occupation, consulting or other business activity related to the business in which the Company is now involved or becomes involved during the term of her employment, nor will she engage in any other activities that conflict with her obligations to Company." Since I am working allergy for only 2 days a week, I plan to do some telemedicine occasionally on the side. This does not seem to violate the terms mentioned in the contract. But please add - " Working in Telemedicine is acceptable and will not be considered a violation of these terms."14. Section 10 b - Equitable remedies paragraph - Please explain/expand on this ?15. Section 15 - Paid holidays - Please include this for part -time employees as well.16. Section 15 - Paid vacation - Could you please explain how the paid vacation works?17. Section 15 - "Board Certification" Please include reimbursement for NY state license renewal as well.18. Section 15 - Can we start 401K benefits starting January 1st 2020?19. Exhibit A - It says "providing other health services or procedures as requested by the Employer" - Please clarify which procedures other than allergy testing/drug & food challenges/spirometry/biologic administration would I be expected to perform.20. Exhibit A - It says performing technical services for sinus and dental CAT scan" Can you please expand on this and what I'm expected? I am not certified or experienced in operating CT scan machines.21. Exhibit A - Physical assistants - Happy to answer any questions PA's have and co-sign notes on the patients that I review and examine with the PA. But I'm not comfortable signing notes on patients that I have no knowledge about and exclusively seen by the PA. Can we please include this in the contract?22. Exhibit A - Blogs - Would love to assist in writing blogs for the website. Do I just clock in during the hours I'm writing the blogs or it is a separate reimbursement schedule?
Employment Lawyer: Attorney Wendy, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

1. I'm currently getting $120 an hour. $85 is almost a 1/3rd pay cut for me. I would appreciate if you can match my current salary. I'll be happy to provide proof of my current salary if required.
Revision: I would like to be compensated at my current rate of $120/hour.
2. Section 3 - For some reason, I was under the impression that we discussed one Saturday a month on the phone. I might not have accurate recollection. However, I'd really appreciate if we could do 1 Saturday a month. I'd be willing to make myself available by phone in case the PA's who will be in the clinic will have any specific questions. With a brand new baby to take care of and not much support from my husband because of his busy residency schedule, I'd really appreciate if we can change this.
Revision: I am available to work one Saturday per month and to be available via phone for a second Saturday.
3. Line 3 from the top - office location at 116 East 36th Street, New York, New - seems like a typo. (should be NY)
​For typos, just provide these corrections and note typos - generally people appreciate typo correction at this point.
4. Line 5 from the top - says "full-time basis" can we change it to "part time basis"

5. Section 1 - line 3 - "full time basis" again change to "part time basis"

6. Section 1 - Lines 5-7 - Do we have to include all offices? or should we just include the Queens office where I'll be covering.

7. Section 3 - Call schedule - How much is the reimbursement for the calls?
Great thing to ask for clarification on.
8. Section 4a - when it references the contract terminating if you are absent due to illness or injury for more than 90 days, can we add the phrase, "unless such extended leave has been approved by the employer" Also, please comment about the policy on maternity leave.
Revision: " ... unless such extended leave has been approved by the employer, is leave required under the Family & Medical Leave Act or is other approved leave by the employer, including but not limited to maternity or family leave, sick leave or short term disability.
9. Section 4 - line 5 - " It shall automatically renew for a 1 year period unless notified 2 months prior ... " Please add - " ... unless notified by either employer or employee 2 months prior..."

10. Section 5 - It says physician may be eligible for additional compensation based on productivity. How does this work? Can you please provide details?
​Great request for clarification - you want to know exactly how your compensation will be computed.
11. Section 6 - "The foregoing geographic restrictive covenant shall not apply in the event that the Physician’s employment terminates during the initial six (6) months." Can you include the area of the restrictive covenant.
I think the area is certain addresses, but perhaps the request should be - Revision: Please specifically describe the geographic area included in this provision.
12. Section 6 - "Employee agrees that for one year after leaving the Company, Employee will not become a shareholder, member, owner, Employee, or Manager of a competing organization that provides allergy/immunology services." This is a very broad statement. Please delete.
If the geographic area in the prior provision is clarified, this is pretty typical. It is trying to ensure you won't quit and open a competing practice right next door. One year is reasonable it just needs to be limited to the area in which you worked in the city - not within x miles or x blocks.
13. Section 8 e - "Physician agrees that, during the term of her employment with the Company, she will not engage in any other employment, occupation, consulting or other business activity related to the business in which the Company is now involved or becomes involved during the term of her employment, nor will she engage in any other activities that conflict with her obligations to Company." Since I am working allergy for only 2 days a week, I plan to do some telemedicine occasionally on the side. This does not seem to violate the terms mentioned in the contract. But please add - " Working in Telemedicine is acceptable and will not be considered a violation of these terms."

14. Section 10 b - Equitable remedies paragraph - Please explain/expand on this ?
This is standard; this provision allows an injunction to stop you from violating the non-compete. As long as the geographic area in which you cannot compete is reasonable this is as well.
15. Section 15 - Paid holidays - Please include this for part -time employees as well.
​If you will be part-time this is great; if not, it is not the place to change these policies.
16. Section 15 - Paid vacation - Could you please explain how the paid vacation works?
​Revision: Please clarify how paid vacation is calculated.
17. Section 15 - "Board Certification" Please include reimbursement for NY state license renewal as well.

18. Section 15 - Can we start 401K benefits starting January 1st 2020?
Not sure what this means; 401k contributions should start as early as the plan allows. Benefit payments are determined by the plan and the law and cannot generally be changed.
19. Exhibit A - It says "providing other health services or procedures as requested by the Employer" - Please clarify which procedures other than allergy testing/drug & food challenges/spirometry/biologic administration would I be expected to perform.
​This is pretty standard and is generally included to allow you to be assigned ancillary duties like paperwork or supervision of support staff (nurses, PAs, etc.)
20. Exhibit A - It says performing technical services for sinus and dental CAT scan" Can you please expand on this and what I'm expected? I am not certified or experienced in operating CT scan machines.

21. Exhibit A - Physical assistants - Happy to answer any questions PA's have and co-sign notes on the patients that I review and examine with the PA. But I'm not comfortable signing notes on patients that I have no knowledge about and exclusively seen by the PA. Can we please include this in the contract?

22. Exhibit A - Blogs - Would love to assist in writing blogs for the website. Do I just clock in during the hours I'm writing the blogs or it is a separate reimbursement schedule?

Great points; I provided my thoughts in bold. Let me know if you have any questions.

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