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Is this verbal contract binding

By indynurse12775 ·
I was offered $7K for going back to night shift. I received half up front and have been working for over a year. I am not supposed to receive the other half until mid-Feb, 2007. Verbally I agreed to 18months, however, I am tired of the often dangerous situations with the patient loads,etc..and am actively looking for another job. If I didn't ask for the rest of the money, should I be required to pay back the first half if I quit before the 18months are up.

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A lot depends upon the jurisdiction and local laws

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Is this verbal contract b ...

Most lawyers will tell you that a verbal contract is as good as the paper it's written on, i.e. no good.

However, there is some old common law that makes verbal contracts binding under certain situations, and the first is confirmation of the terms by both parties agreeing or via independent witnesses, or later paperwork.

In general, a contract like this, which is for an extra payment over extra services for a period would be seen by the courts as being payable for the period so performed. I assume from the info abov that you entered into this in Aug 2005, thus you have completed 2/3rds of the agreement and entitled to 2/3rds of the payment. However, a lot will depend upon the way the case is argued by the lawyers, and how the judge feels on the day.

The thing to do would be to find another job, one with better pay or conditions or is better career wise. Then talk to your bosss and say hey look I want to go for this job because it's better for my career or whatever - don't even talk to anyone about being fed up with the night shift, don't even mention it at the new job.

With you moving on for career or salary purposes, there is unlikely to be a problem, who knows, he may even pay you some more on the pro rata basis. But even hint at you did it because you're sick of night shift and the boss may try to stick you.

Warning the above advice is based on logic, intelligence and a basic knowledge of law in my area. Please be warned logic and intelligence is banned in any legal proceedings, as are fairness and justice.

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Verbal Contract

by indynurse12775 In reply to A lot depends upon the ju ...

Thanks for the information. In the interview I had I made no mention of being sick of night shift. I stated that I was hoping to grow in my field and that in order to do so changing employers was my way of doing it. I was also going to tell my current employer basically the same thing. That I was hoping to move on for financial/location issues, the new place is closer to home.
About the money, I really don't want the rest of the money if I have to stay where I'm at. The employer isn't bad, however, I AM looking to move forward, I don't want to be stuck in a rut. However, I was worried that the money already paid to me was going to need repaid, or if since I am leaving and saying that I don't want the rest, should I be required to pay the money back that I already received. I say no, I worked here on the night shift for 2/3rds of the time and am moving on for other reasons. However, I don't know if my boss is going to ask for the money back, and if she does how do I handle it.

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As I said a lot depends upon the way its argued

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Verbal Contract

But anyone with a sense of fair play would say, OK $7K divided by 18 months is $388.88 per month x 13 months equals $5,055 been paid $3,500 is owed $1,555 and pay that out.

Personally I don't think, in most courts, that you would be made to pay it back. But a lot depends upon your local laws.

Just tell the boss your leaving and why,since you don't want any of the extra, don't even mention it.

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Thank you

by indynurse12775 In reply to As I said a lot depends u ...

Thank you for your comments. I will do that. I think it will work out.

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It would be for me.

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Is this verbal contract b ...

How would you feel if the boot was on the other foot, and at 18 months your employer said oh that was only a verbal agreement, so I'll ignore it and not pay you ?
It's just common sense, your integrity is worth far more than money.

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You have a couple of options here

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Is this verbal contract b ...

But as Tony said what is the value you place on your integrity?

As you list yourself in the legal/medical side of things I imagine that you are doing something related to Medical IT work with high patient loads that you feel compromised over and you feel that you are endangering Patient Outcomes buy not having enough support for your current position right?

Now I'm taking it that the 7K was on top of your existing wages/salary as for 7K for 18 months work is chicken feed and wouldn't even be considered as Petty Cash by anyone within this field. Perhaps you should approach your current Boss and ask for some help as you feel that you are placing the patients in Jeopardy with the current amount of help that you don't have. There could be some allowances made to make your life easier or you may reach a Mutably Agreeable Compromise with your current Boss that allows you out of the contract. Which might be the better option here or you might get some assistance to alleviate the current problem. After all no one in this field wants Adverse Outcomes as they are very expensive from a Legal Point of View.

Personally My Word is My Bond and if I say that I'll do something I do it no matter what but if the situation becomes potential dangerous to others I wouldn't hesitate to ask for help to prevent problems arising that may prove extremely costly or worse still adversely impact on someone else health.

With any Medical work you only get one chance to get things right as by the time that you can come up with a second option the damage has already been done. If you feel that you are a potential danger to others it's time to ask for help and see where the chips fall from there. You may get the required help or you may be let out of your existing contract either solution is a Win and will make things safer for everyone concerned.

However as you say that you are working Medical/Legal there is one sure thing here that the position will have been run past the Legal Department first and if there was only a Verbal Agreement involved then it must be Legally Binding in this situation, what you need to do is try to get some help to minimise any danger to Patients or similarly if the place is too tight to offer you the help that you require they may be willing to let you go and get someone else in there to do your current job. You don't need to burn your Bridges behind you without a good reason and so far you have not offered a good enough reason that would warrant to me Burning your Bridges as you have done nothing to try to alleviate the problem that is causing the position that you find yourself in.

Also if this is considered as a Legally Binding Contract and you walk out now they may want much more than just the original amount refunded they would be quite within their rights to sue for Breach of Contract and demand far more money in compensation for their loss.

Remember that the Law doesn't mean Justice it only means the one with the deeper pockets generally wins any action that is brought and you could be made to look as if you have walked out of a position which is adversely affecting the ability of this place from treating patients with the proper care. If there where any deaths to arise after you walk out there is the possibility that the place could blame you directly for these Adverse Outcomes and you could be facing something far more serious that just a monetary loss. Ask for the help that you need before you do anything else. A Wrongful Death or Manslaughter Charge isn't something that any of us want to be facing and if you don't provide sufficient documentation about your attempts to get Extra Help and what you requested as this Extra Help you are leaving yourself wide open for any adverse outcomes that occur after you leave.

If you have already gone through asking for help and been knocked back you need to put everything in writing and go though the process again, also keep copies of everything that you submit for help and keep a diary listing everything that you do relating to this job. This will all be considered as Evidence by the courts but if you just say I did this that will not carry any weight and it will most likely be denied. Without Proof you have lost before you even start.

I got out of Medical Work over 20 years ago exactly for this reason.

Col
Edited to add the last few paragraphs as I thought of them after I posted the original answer.

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reply

by indynurse12775 In reply to You have a couple of opti ...

All of the nurses, as well as myself, on the floor have stated that we don't have the manpower to do our jobs. That we feel that it is possibly for low patient satisfaction scores, not really danger to the patient. We are able to care for the patient, but the satisfaction in their stay with us suffers because it takes us longer to respond to the call light. During unit meetings, this subject has come up often. We do get float staff on nights that we are low, so the danger to the patient isn't that much higher then the normal course of a hospital stay.
I am going to talk to my boss either today or Thursday. I am not wanting to completely leave. I am willing to work PRN (as needed) status, just not full or part time.
Thanks for the info.

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Oh Night Shift

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to reply

Well you should know that it's not important as all the patients are asleep so you are just sitting around doing nothing at all. At least that is what Management will tell you.

Remember to document everything particularly meetings with Management. During the times that I've been in Horespital I tend to find the Night Shift are overworked underpaid for their efforts and generally not thought of at all because they don't do the Hard Work like the day shift does. :)

Provided that you get to the important ones quickly nothing else matters I can remember one guy when I had my gall bladder removed who had a compound fracture of his right leg trying to leave the Meat works around 3.00 AM so he could come back there for an appointment the next day. I think that he was going to crawl home so he could come back latter that day. As I was strapped to the bed with all this junk hanging out of me there was nothing that I could do to hold him down so I rand the Emergence Code for a Nurse and got hit with What's Wrong? I just pointed to this guy and all **** broke loose. The entire night staff where trying to keep him put and he was arguing that he had to attend this hospital the next day and he wasn't at a hospital. Strange thing what some drugs can do to some people and I really felt sorry for the staff trying to convince him that he was where he was supposed to be. The reason why he had top be at the hospital the next day was to have his leg pinned because of the breaks. :^0

Just remember to document everything except the patients names and keep a diary you will not believe just how useful that it is if push comes to shove.

Col

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