Physician Employment Agreements: Employment at Will Clauses – what do these look like?
Sample: “Your employment with the Practice is for no specific period of time. Your employment with the Practice will be “at will,” meaning that either you or the Practice may terminate your employment at any time and for any reason, with or without cause. Any representations which are contrary to or conflict with the foregoing that may have been made to you are superseded by this letter agreement. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, in keeping with the “at will” nature of your employment relationship with the Practice, the Practice reserves the right to review, on an annual basis or more frequently as determined by the Practice, and make changes to your job description/duties and title and your compensation and benefits. Although your job description/duties, title, compensation and benefits, as well as the Practice’s personnel policies and procedures, may change from time to time, the “at will” nature of your employment may only be changed in an express written agreement signed by you and a duly authorized officer of the Practice.”
Physician Employment Agreements: Employment at Will Clauses – what do they mean?
Basically, these “Employment at Will” clauses mean that you can quit any time you want and, conversely, the practice can fire you any time they want. Either side can do this for good reason, bad reason, or no reason at all. The only real limitations on the practice’s authority to terminate you, are based on protected categories like, race, age, gender, etc., as well as retaliation. But this does not mean that the practice has to have a fair, or even defendable, reason to terminate.
Physician Employment Agreements: Employment at Will Clauses – what should I do?
Think about your job prospects. The alternative to employment at will is a contract setting forth a term. But this is a double-edged sword. While you have more job security with a term contract, you are also locked in with a practice, perhaps for longer than you want to be. The key is to think of your employment agreement like a pre-nuptial agreement, prepare for the worst, and you can cover yourself. But to do so will require you to think hard about your career and future.
You do not have to be a genius to figure this stuff out on your own, but if you want to make sure, or just don’t have the time to put into it, you can also call an attorney who can walk you through every step of the process.
Want Help with your Physician Employment Agreement? Contact us – we can help. Our attorneys have worked with hundreds of physicians from all across the country.