If you’re new to the healthcare industry, signing a medical contract marks the start of your career. You’re probably excited to seal the deal since the offer is good and you really need that job ASAP. However, you should always take the time to pause and read the fine print, so you don’t end up getting caught off-guard by contract disputes later on.
- Check Your Benefits
One of the first things you should check out is if you’re signing an employee or independent contractor contract. Depending on what type of contract it is, you can get a very different set of benefits available to you upon signing.
An employee contract typically offers more benefits, and it’s easier to negotiate terms of certain benefits such as paid leaves, publications, DEA, licensing fees, and insurance. On the other hand, an independent contractor contract offers more freedom when it comes to leaving the job or determining length of tenure, but offers limited (if any) benefits.
- Know How You Will Be Compensated
It’s not enough that you know how much you get paid; knowing how you will be paid is just as important, since it would help you set your expectations and financial plans from here on out. This is also important when it comes to incentives. Different employers use different formulas to provide bonuses on top of your regular pay.
Don’t forget to talk about other aspects of being paid, like if there are baseline performance requirements that you need to meet before you can qualify for incentives, or if there is extra pay for being consistently more productive than usual. The more you know about how compensation works, the more you can get the most out of your work.
- Be Aware of Non-compete
A non-compete clause will keep you from working a similar job at another employer after you leave your current job. This can cause major issues in the future, especially if you suddenly have to leave your employer but you need to keep working somewhere else.
It’s not an issue if there’s no non-compete clause. If there is, be particular about the details of the non-compete. How long is the non-compete effective? Are you restricted from working at another facility if your new job is an entirely different position? If the clause is vague, you might have to ask for further clarification.
- Check the Sign-on Bonuses
It’s common for healthcare employers to include a sign-on bonus in their contracts. In many cases, the total bonus is pro-rated (to keep employees from jumping ship once they get the bonus). Other companies offer relocation expenses, which will cover for whatever you need to relocate somewhere more ideal for your job.
Normally, a sign-on bonus is considered better than relocation expense coverage, but it doesn’t always mean you only get to choose one over the other. If you can, try to negotiate for both options. Some employers have urgent needs for new people that they might be willing to give you both bonuses just to make you stay.
- Get Help from a Lawyer
Most contracts feature plenty of technical terms and fine print that many employees end up just signing the contract and hope all goes well. These are the ones that often end up feeling that they got tricked into working for the wrong employer later on. If you’re still having doubts about your contract, don’t hesitate to rely on somebody else.
By hiring a lawyer, you’ll have someone to consult and help you identify whether you’re about to sign your contract over a good deal or otherwise. They can check for opportunities that can help you negotiate for more benefits with your employer or look for loopholes that may or may not work in your favor.
Signing a contract should never be done without giving it a second thought. By paying better attention to the details (and getting help when necessary), you protect yourself from contract-related problems and you get a clearer picture of what to expect from working at your new job.