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Veterinary Compensation: Question Regarding Production Pay and Paid Time Off

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Alkylhalide View Post

    I understand your point - I guess my question is: what is the disincentive for unpaid time off with this model?
    As you noted, it would be better to take the entire pay period off but then that uses up your vacation time taking an extended vacation that you wouldn't necessarily want to take and would prevent you from using that vacation time at another time. Another option is to use PTO that spans different pay periods i.e. take the last Thursday-Friday off of one pay period and then the first Monday-Tuesday/Wednesday of the next pay period to see if that would allow her to still meet her production threshold for the respective pay periods.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by CordMcNally View Post

      As you noted, it would be better to take the entire pay period off but then that uses up your vacation time taking an extended vacation that you wouldn't necessarily want to take and would prevent you from using that vacation time at another time. Another option is to use PTO that spans different pay periods i.e. take the last Thursday-Friday off of one pay period and then the first Monday-Tuesday/Wednesday of the next pay period to see if that would allow her to still meet her production threshold for the respective pay periods.
      I agree. She is fortunate in that she is able to see her production daily - based off her trends for any given two week (10 working day) pay period if she worked 7 days she would earn enough in production to fully cover her base pay for that period without touching her PTO balance, so she could take 3 days of unpaid time. Additionally, she can set up her schedule to adjust for procedure vs consult time. If she were to dedicate 4 days to procedures, she would earn enough in production to take 6 days off without using PTO. If she were to go this route, it would mean that we could save her PTO for longer trips or bank it to use for some longer leave - maternity, or for payout upon separating from her employer as she can bank up to 5 years worth of PTO. The limiting factor of course would be her employers willingness to tolerate this - but given that the position was open for a year and she accounts for almost half her practice's revenue, she's not too worried about it. Last time she had to job hunt she had 4 offers in less than a week due to high demand and such a limited pool of existing and new veterinarians in our area.

      And I'm not saying this is what she is going to do. She has just been thinking through the pros/cons of how her PTO is currently paid out and the incentive/disincentive of taking time away unpaid. She does have quite a bit of PTO as that was a priority for her to be able to visit her family - I think this model opens up options to take unpaid time away in order to maximize her benefits.


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      • #18
        Why not ask the lawyer that reviewed her contract what their opinion is?

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        • #19
          Originally posted by BigoteGrande View Post
          Why not ask the lawyer that reviewed her contract what their opinion is?
          We may get there - but I doubt it as I don't think she will want to push it to the point of getting her attorney involved. My initial post was really aimed at trying to gauge if this is standard practice (it sounds like it is not uncommon) and if not, how best to address it with her employer. Given the tenor of the posts it does seem like the employer is acting reasonably though not necessarily how we would like. While she has contacted someone who agreed to look into it, she is pretty content however this turns out: either they change how they calculate production and PTO or keep it as is and she will be more comfortable taking time off on an unpaid basis knowing she hit her minimum for production.

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          • #20
            Thank you everyone who responded - my wife and I really appreciate it. She heard back from her employer last night that they will be adjusting their payroll to account for production and PTO.

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            • #21
              Where on earth do you think the money comes from to pay your wife? From production. (Really from collections, after staff expenses, supplies, rent, and other overhead, but that's takings things into a more complex level. Collections shouldn't vary much from production in a veterinary clinic.)

              If your wife owned the practice and took a month off, where would the money come from to cover overhead and pay her a paycheck? Yeah, the employer faces that same dilemma.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Hank View Post
                Where on earth do you think the money comes from to pay your wife? From production. (Really from collections, after staff expenses, supplies, rent, and other overhead, but that's takings things into a more complex level. Collections shouldn't vary much from production in a veterinary clinic.)

                If your wife owned the practice and took a month off, where would the money come from to cover overhead and pay her a paycheck? Yeah, the employer faces that same dilemma.
                Hank, appreciate the thought but I think the point is moot - company acknowledged the mistake and is fixing it. What is your point here?

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Hank View Post
                  Where on earth do you think the money comes from to pay your wife? From production. (Really from collections, after staff expenses, supplies, rent, and other overhead, but that's takings things into a more complex level. Collections shouldn't vary much from production in a veterinary clinic.)

                  If your wife owned the practice and took a month off, where would the money come from to cover overhead and pay her a paycheck? Yeah, the employer faces that same dilemma.
                  Perhaps you missed the post I made prior to yours...

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by MaxPower View Post
                    I always thought that paid time off when on a production model was a misnomer. Previously, when I was on a production model and had “paid time off” all it really meant was that I still got a paycheck, but since I missed out on the production that week, my bonuses were lower and I had to do more work in the weeks I wasn’t gone to meet my baseline salary. When I had a guarantee my first couple of years it didn’t matter if I didn’t meet my baseline threshold, but after that they could have theoretically withheld some of my pay, had I not earned above that and received a bonus.

                    For your spouse’s situation, if it isn’t clearly spelled out in the current contract, you’re probably stuck. One of the downsides of being the high earner is that no one wants to pay you to not work. The office still has to be open when your spouse is gone. The rent on the building still has to be paid. The staff answering the phones still has to be paid. Etc.
                    This is me now, on production . I get a base pay but my bonus will be less if I take time off. They could also come after me if I don’t make my base…although I think I can take 1-2 mth off from now to august and still be ok

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Savedfpdoc View Post

                      This is me now, on production . I get a base pay but my bonus will be less if I take time off. They could also come after me if I don’t make my base…although I think I can take 1-2 mth off from now to august and still be ok
                      It sounds like a similar structure that my wife had before with negative accrual determined twice per year that could lower her base salary pending performance. She left her last practice for that reason mostly because we learned that the only reason she would not earn production is due to issues incurred by owners/management: staff retention, poor restock, and other silly things. The owners at her last practice implemented an online booking system without being able to charge a deposit or no show fee that led to approximately 25% appointments not showing up - led to a huge decrease in production that was going to end up lowering her base. Management dragged their feet fixing it even though they were hemorrhaging money because they were focused on positive online reviews. She gave them a quarter to fix it but they didn't so she put in her notice and found a new job in 5 days.
                      Last edited by Alkylhalide; 04-17-2022, 11:08 AM.

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