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Need help with contract and Maternity Leave Finances

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  • #46




    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!
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    I think our disagreement here is largely semantic.  If we stick to the 4 weeks unpaid,  which I agree is he worst part of your deal, then all I would say is that it is a bad deal.

    There is a difference between a reasonable offer and acting reasonably with respect to the contract.

    In most cases, my standard for acting reasonably with respect to the contract, has little to do with how good or bad a deal it is.  All it comes down to is that if this was in the contract and you agreed to it.  If so, then I think it is reasonable to do what they said they would do.

    If they are not following the contract, or treating other employees with the same contract language differently (as it sounds like may be the case), then we start venturing into unreasonable territory.

     

    Now if we go back in a time machine to back before you signed the contract and analyzed it with the clarity that you have now, I would say that part of the offer may be a little unreasonable.  How reasonable an offer is really just depends on market conditions and what alternatives are available. If, for some reason, all employers in the area are offering the same seemingly bad deal, then that makes the offer reasonable.  Similarly it possible for someone to make you an unreasonable offer (i.e., way below market conditions) but if you sign the contract, then it becomes entirely reasonable for them to hold you to the contract.

    With regard to the four weeks unpaid and how they are handling it, I would have considered negotiating it as it seems a little unreasonable to me.   Also I don't think it is so unreasonable that I'd consider the offer insulting and just walk away without any discussion.

    Here's how I see it. Assume

    X = the overhead cost they have to pay when you are out

    Y = the overhead cost they have to pay when you are working + the cost of paying you

    I think that the true cost to your employer of you taking completely unpaid leave is likely somewhere between X and Y.  It is definitely just more than X, i.e., strict overhead cost (rent, some answering the phones, malpractice, etc) when you are out.  There is some general disruption to the practice that is hard to put a price on.  But that cost certainly exists.   It sounds like they want you to "pay back" (using your language) Y.  You think it is only fair for them to ask for X.  The "fair" amount is likely somewhere between.  But it's hard to say.  I know that for many private practitioners the cost of taking significant periods of unpaid leave is actually greater than Y (when they're unavailable for a long time they lose patients and referral sources).  Without knowing a lot more about the situation it's hard to say how bad an offer that part was, but I'd agree that it doesn't sound great.  However, if that part is agreed to in a contract, it's perfectly reasonable at that point to stick to it.

    In your position, during negotiations what I would have done is point out this issue. If I thought I might take significant unpaid leave, I'd negotiate it pretty hard.  If not I would tell them that I accept this bad part of the deal and look for a concession elsewhere.  But that ship has sailed.  At this point the only issue with respect to reasonability is what's actually in the contract.  If it's in there, it's reasonable for them to do it.

     

     

     

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    • #47




      Typically depends on how it is worded for the ‘base guarantee’ or ‘bonus’ – you may need to still cross the threshold for the bonus, so the maternity leave would hinder your ability to earn a bonus…OR if there is no GUARANTEE it may be a little different structure.  You may need to lower your ‘draw’ – again depending on all how it is worded.  If you’d like to speak to someone here just let us know – you have our info!  – Jon w CDx

       

      ps. for the record – we have seen ‘paid’ maternity leave 2 times in over 4,500 contract reviews.  Not to rub it in but my wife (real estate exec) had 15 weeks of fully paid…then she bridged back remaining fully paid for the next 4 weeks.  Crazy.
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      John, you reviewed my contract, I wonder if I was one of those two contracts? I had three months fully paid maternity leave (100% salary).  It was not labeled "maternity" but rather "Extended Sick Leave" that anyone can take to be out for up to 60 days for any illness and having a baby is included. No need to make up the RVUs, which did not affect me because I was on pure salary.

      By the way, if anyone is looking for a primary care position in a rural setting with maternity leave, we are hiring so send me a message on this board with your contact information if you are interested.  High compensation in low COL area.

       

       

      Comment


      • #48







        Typically depends on how it is worded for the ‘base guarantee’ or ‘bonus’ – you may need to still cross the threshold for the bonus, so the maternity leave would hinder your ability to earn a bonus…OR if there is no GUARANTEE it may be a little different structure.  You may need to lower your ‘draw’ – again depending on all how it is worded.  If you’d like to speak to someone here just let us know – you have our info!  – Jon w CDx

         

        ps. for the record – we have seen ‘paid’ maternity leave 2 times in over 4,500 contract reviews.  Not to rub it in but my wife (real estate exec) had 15 weeks of fully paid…then she bridged back remaining fully paid for the next 4 weeks.  Crazy.
        Click to expand…


        John, you reviewed my contract, I wonder if I was one of those two contracts? I had three months fully paid maternity leave (100% salary).  It was not labeled “maternity” but rather “Extended Sick Leave” that anyone can take to be out for up to 60 days for any illness and having a baby is included. No need to make up the RVUs, which did not affect me because I was on pure salary.

        By the way, if anyone is looking for a primary care position in a rural setting with maternity leave, we are hiring so send me a message on this board with your contact information if you are interested.  High compensation in low COL area.

         

         
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        in our practice, extended sick leave only is available if physician doesn't qualify for fmla.  no financial penalty since these are salary physicians in first year of practice.  iow, they receive their whole salary, not a prorated portion.  paternity leave qualifies as extended sick leave as well.  no financial penalty for them either.  well no penalty beyond making it harder to bonus.  

         

         

         

         

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        • #49
          Just wanted to thank everyone for their responses. I have learned a lot and can see both sides so to speak.

          I'm not sure how hard I will "fight" this since, in the end, it won't affect me as much as it sounds. This is due to the fact that they hold back a % of bonus pay for year end reconciliation so that goes to the threshold. I should "make it up" by end of Q1 2018 or shortly after.

          The part I may have leverage on is that I work a free clinic once a month and get nothing for it (literally) and no stipend to cover the $$ loss from me not being in a regularly scheduled clinic. I used to work 4-6 of these a month (!!!) but had no idea how this would affect me as a new naive attending. So this hurts me during my leave as well.

          Comment


          • #50


            There is 6 (vaginal) or 8 (c-s) weeks of paid leave
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            I find this difference to be crazy. I'm not sure it's entirely evidence based, and it certain has a risk of mis-aligning incentives between health and time off from work. Seems too arbitrary and fuzzy to have a policy define them differently. Both should be set at (well, 52 weeks) but at least equal.

            Comment


            • #51
              We've looked at some positions where the bonus (production/RVU/etc) structure is based annually. Others are 6 months, others are quarterly. Quarterly is nice, as you can take vacation, get sick, etc and tank the quarter, then quickly do well over the next quarter. OTOH, a year offers you time to "catch up" and have the entire year work in your favor.

              This seems a little tough here, as it's en employed position. Perhaps they haven't had this issue arise before. Might be a chance for you to help them improve their policies to be more fair, or if nothing else, more clear to all parties involved. Honey instead of vinegar here might be helpful. Good luck. And congrats!

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              • #52




                Just wanted to thank everyone for their responses. I have learned a lot and can see both sides so to speak.

                I’m not sure how hard I will “fight” this since, in the end, it won’t affect me as much as it sounds. This is due to the fact that they hold back a % of bonus pay for year end reconciliation so that goes to the threshold. I should “make it up” by end of Q1 2018 or shortly after.

                The part I may have leverage on is that I work a free clinic once a month and get nothing for it (literally) and no stipend to cover the $$ loss from me not being in a regularly scheduled clinic. I used to work 4-6 of these a month (!!!) but had no idea how this would affect me as a new naive attending. So this hurts me during my leave as well.
                Click to expand...


                Look at the bright side. They are not making you pay for a locums for the free clinic.

                Comment


                • #53





                  There is 6 (vaginal) or 8 (c-s) weeks of paid leave 
                  Click to expand…


                  I find this difference to be crazy. I’m not sure it’s entirely evidence based, and it certain has a risk of mis-aligning incentives between health and time off from work. Seems too arbitrary and fuzzy to have a policy define them differently. Both should be set at (well, 52 weeks) but at least equal.
                  Click to expand...


                  That is just some companies traditional time off.  Not evidence based.  Unless something unusual happens there really should be no difference.

                  Comment


                  • #54





                    There is 6 (vaginal) or 8 (c-s) weeks of paid leave 
                    Click to expand…


                    I find this difference to be crazy. I’m not sure it’s entirely evidence based, and it certain has a risk of mis-aligning incentives between health and time off from work. Seems too arbitrary and fuzzy to have a policy define them differently. Both should be set at (well, 52 weeks) but at least equal.
                    Click to expand...


                    I'm not sure I get it. You really think there are women out there angling for a c-section so they can get an extra two weeks off?  I guess I never considered it, but I suppose it's possible.

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Have an attorney review your contract and the guidance you received about how your time away from work affects your hurdle for bonus.  Make sure your attorney reviews the disparate treatment for like-positioned employees within your practice.

                      My wife recommends waiting until week 10 or 11 of your maternity leave to raise the issue and have your attorney send a concerned / threatening letter to your hospital.  Be friendly enough, and expect that you'll get the same favorable treatment that other like-positioned employees received after returning from maternity leave.  Perhaps shop your skills to other hospitals within a reasonable commuting distance if your hospital is ************************-bent on trying to screw you over and losing a protracted employment discrimination and FMLA non-compliance lawsuit.

                      (I know, the default position for an attorney is to recommend that you consult an fellow attorney and incur legal fees.  Nevertheless, it really sounds like your department is trying their damnedest to flout FMLA and lose a suit.)

                      Comment


                      • #56




                        Have an attorney review your contract and the guidance you received about how your time away from work affects your hurdle for bonus.  Make sure your attorney reviews the disparate treatment for like-positioned employees within your practice.

                        My wife recommends waiting until week 10 or 11 of your maternity leave to raise the issue and have your attorney send a concerned / threatening letter to your hospital.  Be friendly enough, and expect that you’ll get the same favorable treatment that other like-positioned employees received after returning from maternity leave.  Perhaps shop your skills to other hospitals within a reasonable commuting distance if your hospital is ************************-bent on trying to screw you over and losing a protracted employment discrimination and FMLA non-compliance lawsuit.

                        (I know, the default position for an attorney is to recommend that you consult an fellow attorney and incur legal fees.  Nevertheless, it really sounds like your department is trying their damnedest to flout FMLA and lose a suit.)
                        Click to expand...


                        i'm just curious which part is discriminatory to your eyes?

                        and

                        does your recommendation change if there are noncompete clauses in place which essentially force a physician to move or not work for couple years?

                        thanks

                         

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