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  • Miss Bonnie MD
    replied
    Someone who for works the same hospital (diff dept) reached out to me - she got her rvus prorated ... I will find out what happened.

    Leave a comment:


  • AR
    replied







    I’m still struggling to find the part that you find unreasonable.  It seems there was a certain payment scheme agreed to between both parties. It was written in a contract.  Both parties signed it.  It doesn’t appear to be illegal.  So what part exactly is unreasonable?

    It sounds like what may have happened is that she didn’t understand how this would be handled prior to signing the contract, but why would you blame the employer for that?

    Standard disclaimers apply (depends on what is actually in the contract and assumes I understand everything correctly).

     
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    I think at this point we’re forcing everyone to listen to a broken record since we’ve both made our respective points a couple of times without coming to an agreement. Guess this is why the law profession exists! I will certainly be interested to see what the outcome is.
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    Well I think that the discussion has evolved since the beginning and I don't think it's really that repetitive. New info and considerations have come up since the original post.   I'm still trying to figure it out.  I feel like if I could understand exactly what it is you think is unreasonable about what happened, I might get a better idea of what the original complaint is.  So if it wouldn't be much trouble, if you could concisely explain in one or two sentences what the unreasonable thing is you think the employer did, I think that would help.  Both me and others reading this thread.

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  • wideopenspaces
    replied








    Click to expand…


    No, they are not threatening to fire her if she doesn’t make up the time but they also won’t allow her to earn incentive pay until she makes it up. I personally would be very discouraged about taking the time off knowing I’d have to make it all up in order to get back to my usual level of pay. I understand you feel that is perfectly reasonable. We’ll just have to agree to disagree on that.

    I’m very grateful to work for an employer that offered true paid parental leave with no strings attached. They (and my colleagues) have been so easy to work with during the time I was out and since I’ve come back part time. There’s a lot to be said for working for and with people that are supportive. The benefit to them is that of my own accord, I covered all my patient phone calls, emails, refill requests . . . basically everything but patient visits, while I was on leave. It’s worked out well for everyone.
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    I’m still struggling to find the part that you find unreasonable.  It seems there was a certain payment scheme agreed to between both parties. It was written in a contract.  Both parties signed it.  It doesn’t appear to be illegal.  So what part exactly is unreasonable?

    It sounds like what may have happened is that she didn’t understand how this would be handled prior to signing the contract, but why would you blame the employer for that?

    Standard disclaimers apply (depends on what is actually in the contract and assumes I understand everything correctly).

     
    Click to expand...


    I think at this point we're forcing everyone to listen to a broken record since we've both made our respective points a couple of times without coming to an agreement. Guess this is why the law profession exists! I will certainly be interested to see what the outcome is.

    Leave a comment:


  • q-school
    replied







     




    http://www.fmlainsights.com/fmla-faq-can-an-employer-require-an-employee-to-make-up-time-taken-as-fmla-leave/

    This seems applicable Bonnie because it’s illegal for an employer to do anything that would discourage an employee from using their FMLA time. Making you make up the work that you missed while on leave and then essentially not paying you twice for the 4 weeks you are unpaid is certainly discouraging and seems to me to qualify. If your employer insists this is ok I’d definitely get a lawyer involved.
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    I think there is little downside to talking to an attorney.  But I don’t think there is any literal make up time here (like the example in your link).  She is completely free to continue working full time and receive her base salary when she comes back for as long as she likes.  She doesn’t have to do any extra work.  I’m not sure your link really applies.  Of course, I’m not a lawyer and not certain I understand all the subtleties of the situation.
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    No, they are not threatening to fire her if she doesn’t make up the time but they also won’t allow her to earn incentive pay until she makes it up. I personally would be very discouraged about taking the time off knowing I’d have to make it all up in order to get back to my usual level of pay. I understand you feel that is perfectly reasonable. We’ll just have to agree to disagree on that.

    I’m very grateful to work for an employer that offered true paid parental leave with no strings attached. They (and my colleagues) have been so easy to work with during the time I was out and since I’ve come back part time. There’s a lot to be said for working for and with people that are supportive. The benefit to them is that of my own accord, I covered all my patient phone calls, emails, refill requests . . . basically everything but patient visits, while I was on leave. It’s worked out well for everyone.
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    i'm not reading that AR says exactly that it is perfectly reasonable.  More that it is not inherently unfair, and is one reasonable way of settling the issue.  If it was contractually spelled out, and agreed upon, just because someone doesn't like it now doesn't make it less reasonable.

    one difference i note is that msbonnie started the discussion by describing the extra income as bonus pay.  to me this is a little different than incentive pay that people are describing.  bonus pay to me is non-guaranteed and based on achievement of objectives.   yes, in this case, it is set up in incentive form.  However, characterizing the decision as not allowing her to earn incentives until made up is already dispositive to my mind.

    i think it might affect income for one quarter, maybe two depending on how the dates work.  but better that than a whole year to be affected.   if this is the biggest issue you face in the next year, that is still probably a pretty good year.

    in my group, bonuses are based on group metrics, including group rvu.  if someone is out, and the work is not made up by the group, it is possible no one will bonus.   we had one person unexpectedly sick this year for three months.   they received their full salary, and they will still bonus if the group reaches its goal.  it's an artifact of the system.  there were different issues when we were rvu based.  there are always going to be reach issues no matter how carefully you think things out.  if suddenly everyone starts taking 3 months of paternity leave, we are going to have to rethink our approach.

    i'm not sure what would be considered true parental leave with no strings attached anymore.  especially if it is in smaller specialties and with significant call burden.

    thanks to all for the civil discussion.

     

    Leave a comment:


  • AR
    replied





    Click to expand…


    No, they are not threatening to fire her if she doesn’t make up the time but they also won’t allow her to earn incentive pay until she makes it up. I personally would be very discouraged about taking the time off knowing I’d have to make it all up in order to get back to my usual level of pay. I understand you feel that is perfectly reasonable. We’ll just have to agree to disagree on that.

    I’m very grateful to work for an employer that offered true paid parental leave with no strings attached. They (and my colleagues) have been so easy to work with during the time I was out and since I’ve come back part time. There’s a lot to be said for working for and with people that are supportive. The benefit to them is that of my own accord, I covered all my patient phone calls, emails, refill requests . . . basically everything but patient visits, while I was on leave. It’s worked out well for everyone.
    Click to expand...


    I'm still struggling to find the part that you find unreasonable.  It seems there was a certain payment scheme agreed to between both parties. It was written in a contract.  Both parties signed it.  It doesn't appear to be illegal.  So what part exactly is unreasonable?

    It sounds like what may have happened is that she didn't understand how this would be handled prior to signing the contract, but why would you blame the employer for that?

    Standard disclaimers apply (depends on what is actually in the contract and assumes I understand everything correctly).

     

    Leave a comment:


  • wideopenspaces
    replied




     




    http://www.fmlainsights.com/fmla-faq-can-an-employer-require-an-employee-to-make-up-time-taken-as-fmla-leave/

    This seems applicable Bonnie because it’s illegal for an employer to do anything that would discourage an employee from using their FMLA time. Making you make up the work that you missed while on leave and then essentially not paying you twice for the 4 weeks you are unpaid is certainly discouraging and seems to me to qualify. If your employer insists this is ok I’d definitely get a lawyer involved.
    Click to expand…


    I think there is little downside to talking to an attorney.  But I don’t think there is any literal make up time here (like the example in your link).  She is completely free to continue working full time and receive her base salary when she comes back for as long as she likes.  She doesn’t have to do any extra work.  I’m not sure your link really applies.  Of course, I’m not a lawyer and not certain I understand all the subtleties of the situation.
    Click to expand...


    No, they are not threatening to fire her if she doesn't make up the time but they also won't allow her to earn incentive pay until she makes it up. I personally would be very discouraged about taking the time off knowing I'd have to make it all up in order to get back to my usual level of pay. I understand you feel that is perfectly reasonable. We'll just have to agree to disagree on that.

    I'm very grateful to work for an employer that offered true paid parental leave with no strings attached. They (and my colleagues) have been so easy to work with during the time I was out and since I've come back part time. There's a lot to be said for working for and with people that are supportive. The benefit to them is that of my own accord, I covered all my patient phone calls, emails, refill requests . . . basically everything but patient visits, while I was on leave. It's worked out well for everyone.

    Leave a comment:


  • AR
    replied
     




    http://www.fmlainsights.com/fmla-faq-can-an-employer-require-an-employee-to-make-up-time-taken-as-fmla-leave/

    This seems applicable Bonnie because it’s illegal for an employer to do anything that would discourage an employee from using their FMLA time. Making you make up the work that you missed while on leave and then essentially not paying you twice for the 4 weeks you are unpaid is certainly discouraging and seems to me to qualify. If your employer insists this is ok I’d definitely get a lawyer involved.
    Click to expand...


    I think there is little downside to talking to an attorney.  But I don't think there is any literal make up time here (like the example in your link).  She is completely free to continue working full time and receive her base salary when she comes back for as long as she likes.  She doesn't have to do any extra work.  I'm not sure your link really applies.  Of course, I'm not a lawyer and not certain I understand all the subtleties of the situation.

    Leave a comment:


  • wideopenspaces
    replied
    http://www.fmlainsights.com/fmla-faq-can-an-employer-require-an-employee-to-make-up-time-taken-as-fmla-leave/

    This seems applicable Bonnie because it's illegal for an employer to do anything that would discourage an employee from using their FMLA time. Making you make up the work that you missed while on leave and then essentially not paying you twice for the 4 weeks you are unpaid is certainly discouraging and seems to me to qualify. If your employer insists this is ok I'd definitely get a lawyer involved.

    Leave a comment:


  • AR
    replied




    The problem as I understand it is that the employer is demanding a credit against work not performed while on leave, in excess of unpaid FMLA time off. So, if I understand correctly, instead of having incentive pay begin at $150k collections/quarter as had previously been contracted, the employer is demanding that incentive pay not start until $300k collections in a quarter when Msbonnie comes back to work, at least until the $150k “base coverage” is made up.

    If this was a PP group partnership, I think “suck it up” applies, because no killing=no eating and the group still has to pay for overhead. However, this is an employed position. The tradeoff of an employed position vs PP is that there is usually less upside income potential, but the employer assumes the risk of overhead and provides benefits such as paid maternity leave. It sounds like the employer is trying to transfer the risk of being gone to the employee, despite giving PTO as a benefit and buying STD insurance to mitigate this risk.

    This is definately mistreatment and I understand why it leaves a sour taste in the mouth. Whether it is a breach of contract depending on the exact wording of the contract. I would argue that if there is no clause specifying circumstances when the bonus structure can be altered, then it can’t be altered and incentive pay would be due at the same levels of production and same timing regardless of previous time off or not. However, if there is a nebulous clause such as “incentive pay to be determined by department chairman as appropriate,” then you signed a contract allowing you to be screwed.

    The other issue at play here is whether you are being treated differently because you are taking leave for pregnancy and childbirth. If other physicians took STD leave for nonpregnancy conditions and were not required to alter their incentive pay conditions on their return, then your employer is potentially liable until Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Hopefully, suing your employer and your bosses will be a last resort.

    I would definately read your contract backwards and forwards so you know what it says better than administration/HR does. If you feel that the proposed changes are not allowed by your contract but administration disagrees, get their proposal in writing and consider consulting an employment attorney.
    Click to expand...


    What you're describing in bolded is a very broad (and correct) generalization of how the world works, but it's not a rule and each entity is free to make a deal however they see fit.  I'd agree that with respect to this specific issue, the employer is acting more like a PP.  I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with that.  To be honest with the amount bonus pay that's going on, the upside doesn't sound that different from PP either.  In any case, it's just a different kind of deal than a lot of large groups offer and one that is worse for the employee in this scenario.  I would not characterize it as *definitely mistreatment* though if it was agreed to by both parties in the contract.  So, as you say, it really comes down to what is in the contract.

    If the employer is violating the contract, then I agree, she is being wronged.  But if it's in the contract, then all I see is an unfavorable deal.

    Also I think the point of contention is that they are not altering the bonus structure to account for the time off, she is the one who wants it altered.  For example, if she was just supremely unproductive and didn't make her base despite showing up every day for the whole quarter, that deficit would be carried over as well.  So it sounds like she is the one who wants an alteration. Once again, depends on exactly how the contract is written.

    Standard disclaimer applies.

     

    Leave a comment:


  • pulmdoc
    replied
    The problem as I understand it is that the employer is demanding a credit against work not performed while on leave, in excess of unpaid FMLA time off. So, if I understand correctly, instead of having incentive pay begin at $150k collections/quarter as had previously been contracted, the employer is demanding that incentive pay not start until $300k collections in a quarter when Msbonnie comes back to work, at least until the $150k "base coverage" is made up.

    If this was a PP group partnership, I think "suck it up" applies, because no killing=no eating and the group still has to pay for overhead. However, this is an employed position. The tradeoff of an employed position vs PP is that there is usually less upside income potential, but the employer assumes the risk of overhead and provides benefits such as paid maternity leave. It sounds like the employer is trying to transfer the risk of being gone to the employee, despite giving PTO as a benefit and buying STD insurance to mitigate this risk.

    This is definately mistreatment and I understand why it leaves a sour taste in the mouth. Whether it is a breach of contract depending on the exact wording of the contract. I would argue that if there is no clause specifying circumstances when the bonus structure can be altered, then it can't be altered and incentive pay would be due at the same levels of production and same timing regardless of previous time off or not. However, if there is a nebulous clause such as "incentive pay to be determined by department chairman as appropriate," then you signed a contract allowing you to be screwed.

    The other issue at play here is whether you are being treated differently because you are taking leave for pregnancy and childbirth. If other physicians took STD leave for nonpregnancy conditions and were not required to alter their incentive pay conditions on their return, then your employer is potentially liable until Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Hopefully, suing your employer and your bosses will be a last resort.

    I would definately read your contract backwards and forwards so you know what it says better than administration/HR does. If you feel that the proposed changes are not allowed by your contract but administration disagrees, get their proposal in writing and consider consulting an employment attorney.

    Leave a comment:


  • AR
    replied
    1.  I think this distinction that you're making in your head about the STD paying rather than your company paying is an artificial one.  I get why it feels different, but your company paid for the STD.  So effectively they are paying you.  The STD company had to get the money to pay you from somewhere.  And the place that they got it from was your company's premium payments.

    Therefore if you understand that PTO is counted, then you should equally get that STD is counted.  Like I said before, just think of your employer as a black box.  Just like they will somehow come up with the money to pay you when you're out on PTO,  they will somehow come up with the money to pay you if you're out on STD.  From you're perspective it shouldn't matter how they come up with the money or who files the claim.

    2.  Your company is not asking you to pay back anything as far as I can tell.  You keep using that language.  All they are doing is keeping the same standard for hitting the bonus whether you are in or out.

    3. The only place where I think you're getting a bad deal is the one month unpaid.  So maybe that's not the best deal for you, but it's certainly not unheard of.

    As an aside I think if you had your own practice you would be in much worse shape.  Mostly because buying an individual STD policy for a young woman that covers pregnancy is extremely difficult (last I checked, could be wrong on that).  These type of policies are generally only available to large groups where the insurance company can collect a large number of premiums to cover the risk.

    Also there is a massive value in having a group of people that can cover for you and manage the business when you're out, so that you can literally forget about everything when you're on leave.  It's hard to put a price on that.  But the terms of your contract don't seem outrageous when you account for that.

     

    Once again, standard disclaimer applies.

     

     

    Leave a comment:


  • Miss Bonnie MD
    replied




    Bonnie I know you do not want to hear it but it looks like you will have to forego a bonus.  Academics offer you paid maternity leave which is a blessing.  If you owned a derm practice not only would you miss income from not seeing patients but you would still have to pay your overhead.  No set up is perfect. You just need to understand your benefits and make the most of them. Docs in groups still have to pay for their share of the overhead if they are unproductive for any reason.  If you open your own practice you can set the rules.
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    i'd be fine paying OH while I am out but they are making me pay back my pay + OH  (pay that I am not getting - the STD paying me is not the dept paying - I file a claim with a company etc). They can remove the 2 weeks PTO they are paying me - so how is it fair that during my 4 weeks of UNPAID leave I have to pay back my salary + OH?

    Leave a comment:


  • VagabondMD
    replied
    I have read through the thread, and I believe I understand the issue as presented. There are two things that I might offer that potentially, partially explain the department's position.

    1. While the hospital guarantees the 6 week paid maternity leave, it is possible that your department gets charged for it in some fashion. The money for the leave comes from somewhere (someone, somewhere has to earn it and pay it out), and in this scenario, it might indirectly be you!

    2. Your office expenses, some of them, continue whether you are there or not. Nurses, clerical people, coders are not getting furloughed because you are on leave. The office space will still be cooled when it is warm and warmed when it is cool. The landlord (the hospital, in this case as it appears), still expects its check at the end of the month.

    In my private practice group of 13 we are constantly struggling to craft and maintain a fair policy for leave, for maternity, illness, elective surgery, family emergencies, etc. Just when we think it is solved, we are presented with a situation that we are not prepared to handle or does not fit the policy.

    In a fantasy world, everyone at some point will need unexpected or planned time off, and over the course of one's career, it balances out. In the real world, a few people take the lion's share of the leave, and a few take virtually none and resent those who do. The ideal policy would allow people to, without guilt, take necessary leave while not hosing the people who are having to suck it up with extra shifts, additional weekend work, and more stress.

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  • Hatton
    replied
    Bonnie I know you do not want to hear it but it looks like you will have to forego a bonus.  Academics offer you paid maternity leave which is a blessing.  If you owned a derm practice not only would you miss income from not seeing patients but you would still have to pay your overhead.  No set up is perfect. You just need to understand your benefits and make the most of them. Docs in groups still have to pay for their share of the overhead if they are unproductive for any reason.  If you open your own practice you can set the rules.

    Leave a comment:


  • Miss Bonnie MD
    replied




    if you don’t work (iow, while gone on leave), does someone else have to cover patients?  in other words, they will receive a bonus for work that you would normally be doing if you were there?  from an employer perspective, that converts work that would be normally covered by salary(for you) into bonus for someone else.  is it a salary or a draw?

    i understand why you don’t like it, but i don’t see it as clearly unfair.  just one way of doing business, as long as equally applied.  it seems just like part of the benefits package.

    i would be cautious about the suggestion to just leave early.  coming off an (understandable) absence of 3 months, leaving early is not going to be popular with  your colleagues or your employer.  depending on the specifics of your specialty of course.  and going forward you potentially have the issue of leaving early for doctors appointments, sick days, etc.

     

    congratulations by the way.

    ????

     

     
    Click to expand...


    That is a good point. Yes if other colleagues see more patients and bonus because of it. But again, they aren't paying me....(except 2 weeks PTO)

    I've talked to some other ladies and it seems like some employers do it like mine, and some actually DO adjust the threshold and remove the part you are out and unpaid by them....

    Leave a comment:

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