Although people go into medicine for more than just a job, those who choose the medical field often still need to navigate the particulars that come with employment. This can include employment contract negotiations. Once an employment contract is put into place, both parties to the contract expect the other to fulfill the agreed upon obligations. A failure to do so can result in a lawsuit.
A current example involves a physician who claims his employer, a university medical center, failed to abide by the terms of the employment contract. The timeline that led to the suit is as follows:
- 2014: Physician and university medical center enter employment agreement for two years. Agreement includes automatic one-year renewals. Provision within agreement states six-month written notice required for termination of the agreement.
- 2016: Agreement automatically renews for one year on June 30, 2016.
- 2017: Agreement automatically renews for one year and physician given an increase in salary on June 30, 2017.
The employer states that it terminated employment on June 30, 2017 despite the automatic renewal and increased salary. The doctor counters he never received the required six-month written notice. As a result, the physician has filed this claim requesting compensation for the required six-month notice period as well as recompense for incentive salary. The physician provided ample evidence to establish a history of taking advantage of incentive salary opportunities to help support the claim. The doctor is also seeking damages to cover reasonable attorney’s fees.
The case is currently in mediation. Mediation provides an alternate option to the traditional, contentious courtroom setting. It is a process that encourages negotiations. If successful, the two parties will develop an agreement to resolve the issue and a courtroom case will not be necessary. If the mediation process fails, the case will continue to court.