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Common terms overlooked in employment contracts

In 2018, scores of physicians in Pennsylvania, both experienced practitioners and those just leaving residencies, will sign employment contracts with hospitals and other health care facilities. Unfortunately, despite all their years of training and knowledge about the technical aspects of their fields, they may make mistakes when negotiating their contracts that can affect them for years to come.

Because of this, physicians must be mindful of several potential issues that can affect their future employment. This post will highlight a few of them and how an experienced attorney can help.

Terms of renewal – Many physicians pay attention to compensation but they may gloss over the terms surrounding how the contract will be renewed. Specifically, they may not ask questions over who is responsible for renewing a contract, what criteria will be used to justify (or cancel) a renewal and whether additional compensation accompanies a renewal. As such, an employment contract must be carefully reviewed by an experienced employment law attorney.

Defined terms – Each term in an employment contract is (or should be) controlled by a specific definition. It is not uncommon for prospective employees to overlook a definitions section when reviewing a contract. An experienced lawyer can review these terms and explain in plain English how specific terms may affect the physician’s employment.

Working conditions -  Some employment contracts may not have a defined job description setting out exactly the duties the physician is contracted to perform. The terms of what the physician will do, where it will be performed, and how it will be performed are important aspects that should be solidified and negotiated.

If you have additional questions about an employment contract, an experienced attorney can advise you.

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