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  • Locums Overtime

    Hello,

    I recently completed my first locums assignment as a Radiologist covering a smaller hospital for a week. Overall, it was a difficult but rewarding experience.

    I was quoted a rate for an 8 hour shift, with a similar per/hour rate for overtime. I ended up working 8 hours overtime (or an extra day) over the week. The hospital refuses to pay me for overtime, as they say it was not pre-agreed. However, my contract clearly lists an hourly rate for overtime work (at 15 min increments).

    Do I just except that I got screwed and take this as a lesson not to ever put in any extra time? How hard do I fight it? Do I threaten legal action?

    I would imagine that if I decided NOT to come one day, they would threaten me with breach of contract and legal action. How is this different?

    Has anybody run into this problem before?

    Any advise would be appreciated!

  • #2
    Originally posted by NewRad View Post
    Hello,

    I recently completed my first locums assignment as a Radiologist covering a smaller hospital for a week. Overall, it was a difficult but rewarding experience.

    I was quoted a rate for an 8 hour shift, with a similar per/hour rate for overtime. I ended up working 8 hours overtime (or an extra day) over the week. The hospital refuses to pay me for overtime, as they say it was not pre-agreed. However, my contract clearly lists an hourly rate for overtime work (at 15 min increments).

    Do I just except that I got screwed and take this as a lesson not to ever put in any extra time? How hard do I fight it? Do I threaten legal action?

    I would imagine that if I decided NOT to come one day, they would threaten me with breach of contract and legal action. How is this different?

    Has anybody run into this problem before?

    Any advise would be appreciated!
    They are arguing that the contract doesn't stipulate overtime rate or that they didn't say you could work extra time
    Does contract stipulate what circumstances you would work extra?

    Comment


    • #3
      “preagreed” is the issue. They want to get paid by the hospital. Fix that, and you might get paid.
      Who asked you to work? It might simply be an email authorization of the OT within the hospital.
      ”Pay the guy Shirley!” They probably hate accounting and administrators too!
      Boom goes the dynamite!

      Comment


      • #4
        Check if there is a clause requiring you to talk to the hospital and gain their approval for any overtime.

        How hard to fight depends on if you have interest in covering that hospital in the future.

        Comment


        • #5
          Agree with the above - perhaps whoever asked/scheduled you to work extra did not have the authority to do so. Hopefully all you need to do is get the proper person to sign off. I'm sure you'll be much more cautious about working over next time!
          Our passion is protecting clients and others from predatory and ignorant advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

          Comment


          • #6
            This was an issue at my hospital. A doc was scheduled for a specific shift. The doc stayed later than their scheduled shift and then after the fact (when they got the pay check) wanted extra pay. But no one had asked the doc to stay beyond the scheduled shift. So the policy was made, only pre-approved extra hours are eligible for extra pay.

            Like so many things, clear communication solves these types of problems. If you do locums again, make it very clear what the agreement is, and make it clear up front, before you pick up extra hours without anyone in charge requesting that you do so.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by White.Beard.Doc View Post
              This was an issue at my hospital. A doc was scheduled for a specific shift. The doc stayed later than their scheduled shift and then after the fact (when they got the pay check) wanted extra pay. But no one had asked the doc to stay beyond the scheduled shift. So the policy was made, only pre-approved extra hours are eligible for extra pay.

              Like so many things, clear communication solves these types of problems. If you do locums again, make it very clear what the agreement is, and make it clear up front, before you pick up extra hours without anyone in charge requesting that you do so.
              Exactly. Need to define when you work overtime,who approves, etc.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by FIREshrink View Post

                Exactly. Need to define when you work overtime,who approves, etc.
                This may or may not be able to be fixed retroactively. Step one on the past problem.
                Step 2, you need to know the rules of the road. Get me the approval. Beyond my pay grade. I’m just a doctor. Need the approval in writing.

                Comment


                • #9
                  It can be tricky when the need is immediate but I refuse to do anything if I am not able to get it approved and documented in an email. It is amazing how quickly admin will move even after hours if they need emergency coverage. Good luck, hopefully it is just a matter of getting someone to sign off.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yea.. just lesson learned that even if you were acting in good faith that no ones cares. Stick to the shift .

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      responses above make sense generally but radiology is unique in that the work basically never stops, OP works 8-5 shift and exams keep happening until you come back in the AM. I’ve been in same locums situation. Return to giant pile of work in the AM including a few stat call reports they’ve been holding for 2 hours. “Hey I’ll come in earlier or stay a little later to get that work done.” No thanks, just work harder and faster from 8-5 so we don’t have to pay you more.

                      so who knows what expectations were for OP. But if I felt I were wronged and couldn’t get anywhere with admin. Figure out who president of med staff is. Some nice local doc it’ll be. Email them. “Hey buddy I came to help and now feel like I’m getting fd by your cheapass admin.”

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jacoavlu View Post
                        “Hey buddy I came to help and now feel like I’m getting fd by your cheapass admin.”
                        I think WCI says "pass" in his living room. Yes, I'm sure he does!
                        Our passion is protecting clients and others from predatory and ignorant advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Did you go through a staffing agency or directly through the hospital? There are pros and cons to each. If utilizing a staffing agency- they are more responsive and this rarely happens as the contract is clearly spelled out. If directly through hospital, your rates are likely higher but these micromanaging issues come up. Each hospital can be a different beast, we have been there before!!!
                          Last edited by Peds; 02-21-2020, 02:58 PM. Reason: Removed advertising link.

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                          • #14
                            Thank you for the responses.

                            My contract had a "rate per shift" and then an additional rate for "overtime" given in 15 min increments. Maybe it was naive to assume that if they are telling me how much they are paying me for overtime, it means that they will actually pay.

                            The contract was given to me by the "locums" company. Perhaps it was something that the locums company put in that the hospital didn't really agree to.

                            Jacoaviu is correct that for radiology it may be different. Cases come on your list and you are expected to read everything on the list. If it's 4:59 pm and a STAT CT Abdomen and Pelvis pops up on your list, it is your responsibility to read it. This is where overtime comes into play...

                            It is a learning opportunity for the future. Perhaps I will be less willing to put in the extra time next time if I knew I would not be compensated for it.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by NewRad View Post
                              Thank you for the responses.

                              My contract had a "rate per shift" and then an additional rate for "overtime" given in 15 min increments. Maybe it was naive to assume that if they are telling me how much they are paying me for overtime, it means that they will actually pay.

                              The contract was given to me by the "locums" company. Perhaps it was something that the locums company put in that the hospital didn't really agree to.

                              Jacoaviu is correct that for radiology it may be different. Cases come on your list and you are expected to read everything on the list. If it's 4:59 pm and a STAT CT Abdomen and Pelvis pops up on your list, it is your responsibility to read it. This is where overtime comes into play...

                              It is a learning opportunity for the future. Perhaps I will be less willing to put in the extra time next time if I knew I would not be compensated for it.
                              When they tell you they will pay overtime, your next question should be, "When do you want me to stay for overtime, and who decides? If my shift ends at 4 and a stat CT comes in at 3:59, do I leave at 4 or stay for OT?"

                              For physicians, I feel we need to take care of the patients first, and that means staying to sign out or to finish a note without demanding extra pay.

                              However, for a radiologist, I would think that completing the read on the study that came at 3:59 and then leaving at 4:05 is reasonable. If there are more stat studies to be read beyond that time, they need to pay OT or send those leftover studies to the teleradiology service.

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