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  • #31
    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.

     

     

    Comment


    • #32
      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.

      Comment


      • #33




        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.

         

        Comment


        • #34
          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.

          Comment


          • #35
             




            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.

            Comment


            • #36




               




              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.

              Comment


              • #37





                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).

                 

                Comment


                • #38







                   




                  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.
                  Click to expand...


                  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.

                   

                  Comment


                  • #39








                    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).

                     
                    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.

                    Comment


                    • #40







                      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.
                      Click to expand...


                      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.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Someone who for works the same hospital (diff dept) reached out to me - she got her rvus prorated ... I will find out what happened.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          I find it fascinating that you work for a large employer and they are making exceptions to the rule for things like maternity leave and unpaid time off RVUs.
                          Our HR department has mastered the art of saying "no exceptions. If we make an exception we open up ourselves to liability". HR should be renamed to why you can't do what should be done. Or at least our HR.

                          I learn something every day. .

                          Comment


                          • #43




                            Someone who for works the same hospital (diff dept) reached out to me – she got her rvus prorated … I will find out what happened.
                            Click to expand...


                            That sounds promising! Will be interested to hear back.

                            Comment


                            • #44










                              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.
                              Click to expand…


                              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.
                              Click to expand...


                              The part that is unreasonable to me - my dept is actually MAKING money off of me taking leave since they do not have to pay me (for argument's sake let's stick to the 4 weeks unpaid part) but I still have to make up my salary (that I am not getting)  + overhead. The salary part is the part that is unfair to me. They are essentially keeping that!

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                what happens to the profit that the department has at the end of the quarter?

                                it sounds like the beef is with the department rather than the hospital.

                                 

                                Comment

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