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Laws are more 'binding' than contracts.

Posted By: ? on 2009-03-06
In Reply to: While it may not be able to be ENFORCED, - sm

Out of curiosity, are you an MT or an MTSO who offshores? I find it hard to believe any MT would be defending this.

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I think all state labor laws are pretty much in line with the federal laws as far as PTO SM

among other things.  Basically, federal law states that an employer is not required to offer paid time off or paid holidays.  An employer doesn't have to pay you for time not worked.  It states quite clearly that PTO is an agreement between the employer and employee upon hire.  So, if you have an agreement with your employer stating you accrue PTO and get certain Holidays off with pay, then upon termination or resignation, you are entitled to any unused time you have accrued.  However, since not mandated by any state or federal laws, if an employer refuses to pay you for any unused PTO, you will have to take legal action, likely in small claims court.  You will probably eventually win, but you have to decide is it worth all the trouble and legal fees?

When you actually get right down to it, labor laws really don't do much for the working class.  We are not guaranteed anything except minimum wage and a safe work environment.

Does anyone have copies of Independent Contractor contract, Non-compete contract and confidentiality agreement.  My hard drive crashed awhile back and all my contracts were on there.  I run a small business and can't seem to find these anywhere on the Web.  Any contracts e-mailed to me would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks in advance, Robin
Contracts out
To Medquist and OSI.  From what I remember, they do not transcribe all that well -- a lot of mistakes.
It is true. The only thing is depending on the contract some guidelines are really strict. They usually ask for a 70-character line count, but it is definitely worth bidding for because if you do a good job it is a 5 year contract in most cases?

I haven't used a written one for years but I basically just outlined what services I would be providing at what price, TAT, and what I expected from the account.  There is usually a 30 day cancellation clause unless it is due to poor quality or not meeting TAT.  My accounts now have been on a handshake and a verbal agreement and have lasted for over 15 years.  
Well..that is a subject all right! I bill on the 1st and 15th. On my invoice, it states, "due and payable upon receipt." That way there is no denying they know I want to be paid now. I actually discuss with the Transcription Coordinator at the time of the contract that I expect to be paid promptly, that I am a small business and that I cannot float paying my MTs and that I must pay them or they will not work for me...MTs are sort of like that, if we don't get paid promptly, we don't work. I hope that helps you and good luck with your new contract.
I have no contracts
When I first started out I had contracts wtih some accouints -- I did the work as spcified, they paid as specified and either count cancel with 30 days notice.  It worked.  I now have 5 accounts, no signed contracts, verbal only.  I do the work as promised, I follow HIPAA rules, they pay on time - no bounced checks, I raise my rates when I need to -- they have been with me for 16 to 6 years.  No difference.  Works for me.  You can cancel the service at any time either side, if they don't pay with or without a contract you can go to court.  I do the job as promised, they do their part as promised.  Works for me.
I do not do contracts
I have worked both ways, as an IC and the MTSO and I do not do contracts but I do try to pay prior to the doctor paying me.  But most of the time I do know the IC's quite well as it is a small circle here in Portland and we just work on trust I guess.  I  have never had anyone try to take my accounts but then I have always been up front and fair with my help.  I would ask though when you might expect payment prior to the big project.   But like I said, we are all pretty local and if the word ever got out that you either took someone's account or you did not pay, it would be all over and could easily ruin your business.    But again, nothing hurt in asking, as a small MTSO I would not have a problem with someone asking me when they might expect payment.    Good luck.   Patti 
need contracts

In hindsight, it would seem a good idea in such a situation would be to have a notarized agreement between yourself and the person you get to fill in for you.  This agreement would stipulate that they are only to fill in for you in your absence when requested by YOU and they are not permitted to seek or accept employment with this client as long as you are their transcriptionist, even if it's your best friend.  This is business, not a Saturday lunch together. 

Then you could also get the facility to sign a notarized agreement with you stating they will not offer employment to your fill-in.  They are to understand that this person is only a fill-in for you and is not permitted to solicit your clients because he/she has a legal agreement with you to not do so.  Should they violate this, you will pursue legal means, etc.  You must protect your job as well as you can.     

You can also put in a contract that you have the first right of refusal to turn down work if the workload increases and the facility wishes to hire more staff.  Then they can't go behind your back and hire others without offering you the work first.  You have yourself covered at both ends this way.  I've done such contracts and they befuddle the client so much that they willingly agree to sign because it sounds like I know a whole lot more than they do.  Get a lawyer to draw something up so all your bases are covered. 

Being nice, honest--that has to do with character and it's wonderful if the people for whom you work are that way.  But in business, it's money that comes first.  The two are not incompatible but it seems these days they aren't often found together anymore.  Do a bullet-proof contract and give it to your clients in a very cordial but professional manner.  They will respect you for it.  Your business and income are every bit as valuable to you as theirs are to them and explain that to them as you hand over the contract for them to sign.  If they can't see that, you don't need to deal with them and move on.  Make the playing field level here and protect yourself.  You are a professional too!

Your information regarding contracts is just what I need.  I never thought I would need to get so "formal" but just when you think you are in a comfort zone, you're not. Much appreciated!!!
IC Contracts - sm
I've got a question for those of you who service your own personal accounts.  I currently work as an IC for another company and I am getting ready to take on a bunch of radiology reports from one doctor.  (I'll work both places) I'm going to be paid by the page.  Have any of you asked for a contract for a guarantee of work, i.e. he will guarantee a certain number of reports a week?  What about contracts? Is there any place where I can download a contract and use it as a template for a foundation? Thanks guys.
contracts are all different SM
I've had contracts that span from year to year and then new ones are signed (if invited to stay on, sometimes they don't need the same amount of workers from year to year).

All of my contracts have stated some type of notice to be given as this could affect accounts if left short-handed. I give the MTSO forwarning, why not, it's called repect.

Also - contracts can be negotiated, you know. If there is something in there you don't agree with, call and discuss it. Ask questions.

and contracts...works for me 20+ yrs..nm
Government contracts

Has anyone out there heard or looked into government contracts transcribing for VA hospitals - a friend called me today with this proposition - she said there were two places to look for work - one is called rsp.com and the other is fedbizops.com.  She put in a bid for a radiology account with 600,000 lines a month and said that she thought that would take two people.  I'm just trying to find out if this is legit or not.  I'm not wanting any extra work for myself, but this just sounds too good to be true.


Govt contracts... been there
done that.  I wouldn't do another one in a million years.  Most are one-year contracts with 4 one-year renewals (their discretion, no guarantee).  Their systems are mostly Dictaphone, some with VPN for voice.  Most of the cost is on you for anything connected to account such as C-phones.  The amount of paperwork and reports they wanted daily was overwhelming.  They call you every 10 minutes 24/7 with "need it right now" stuff.  The 2 facilities I did had about 75% ESL doctors that rotated in/out every few months -- especially if a military hospital.  Then, because it's posted on the web site who was awarded the bid, I started getting a lot of calls from offshore companies wanting to work on the accounts, asking me not to tell the contractor.  I also got a few calls from offshore companies asking if I would "front" for them and bid on contracts cuz they needed an American company to actually have the contract.  As of just a few months ago, you needed evaluation from D&B (your cost $250) and their required liablity insurance limits (varies with accounts).  You don't just go in and bid -- it's a process of applying to be a vendor first and filling out LOTS of tedious paperwork.  (My last contract was about 80 pages long to fill out).  If you miss one little thing in this paperwork, your bid gets bounced.  They do call all of the required references, and if you haven't done the VA contract volume before, it's not likely they will award you contract.  Getting paid took literally months - I was about broke and had borrowed money before I got my first check.   (We didn't do anything incorrectly for billing, just took that long cuz it sat on somebody's desk)  I'm sure others have had better luck - this was just our experience with these contracts.   I wish you better luck!
Sample Contracts

I found this the below link quite helpful, particularly sample contract 2.


Best wishes.

noncompete contracts
I emailed you back.
noncompete contracts

Yes the papers have been served. Seeking legal advice soon.  I don't really fear anything as I know we have done nothing wrong. It's just maddening that this person doesn't have anything better to do than to make other people miserable. She doesn't want to make her own money, she tries so hard to take other people's money. I swear, she works harder at trying NOT to work than she would actually have to work if she would just get a job! Get a job lady!

Noncompete contracts
Has anyone ever been sued for breaching a noncompete contract? Do you know what legal steps are involved? How do these things usually turn out? FYI: The contract was never actually breached.....but this former employer BELIEVES it has been and is suing several of her former employees. She owes one of us money (over $3,000.00) for back transcription. We HAD to quit...she wouldn't pay any of us. But the contract was not breached by any of us (probably by her - dirty hands clause - shady business practices, etc.) Any info would be greatly appreciated!
How many companies or contracts does everyone have.
It seems most Transcriptionist have to have more than one job.  I want to work for just one company but have always worked for two and three to make sure I had work if one was low.  Does anyone work for just one company ?
There are some sample contracts on
www.medword.com.  Google "Transcription contracts".  You can cut and paste into a word document.  You are probably better off charging per line.  Going rate is anywhere from 13-17 cpl depending on where you are located.    
contracts and mergers

This can be tricky.  You need to have a lawyer look at the contract you made with the physician and see if you made a contract with him as an individual or the contract was made with his business and then see what can be done.  If it was made with his business, then you may be covered and be able to fight this more easily. 

I think you also need to know what the new contract for the merger covers -- are all previous services used by that physician automatically transferred over to the merged group?  If not, you may have been cut out of the deal.  OR, you may be included and they are not telling you.  Also, if you are not covered under the new arrangement, you may be able to go after him for expected income based on what your existing contract states with that physician.  You may be able to go after him personally for money owed. 

We're talking 6 months of income here as I see it.  Get a lawyer and go get what you deserve if there is any possible way--either by being retained by the new group or bringing charges of some sort.  Make sure the lawyer stipulates that THEY pay all legal costs involved.  They may be more willing to settle with you, give you what you want, rather than go through all this.  Stand your ground.  You are a business and don't let them cheat you.  There are a lot of things in contracts that a non-lawyer can't see but can very well be to your advantage. 

Good luck! 

contracts and security

Yes, the only real "comfort zone" is what is covered in a legal document.  There's your security to a certain extent.  That's not to say that will eliminate all problems, but it gives people an idea you're serious and professional about your servies and you don't expect to be taken advantage of.  Demand all that you want.   Then decide down the road how strictly you want to hold the other party to those demands. 

Think of how business people operate -- they argue at the conference table over clauses in contracts and then go play golf together the next weekend.  It's expected.  It's part of running a business.  Business is business, social is social.  Draw a line here between the two.  Be nice when you type a term paper for your neighbor's kid.  Be strict when you deal with clients. 

Anyone can challenge a contract or agreement, and sometimes you will lose or it won't be worth the fight to pursue it. Every situation is different.  That's why it's best to get the best attorney you can afford, the most experienced in this, to draw up that contract to begin with.  Obviously the clients for whom we work have their own lawyers and the money to pursue things.  But looking at the overall picture, it's just easier to give into your demands as a Transcriptionist than fight, especially if they really want to keep you which seems to be the case here.  If there is a disagreement and you walk, their work is going to get backed up until someone else is trained and up to speed (in most situations).  Who wants that hassle?  It's easier to give into your demands.  Lawyers aren't cheap for anyone, either side.

I'd sit down with these people and explain what they have done to you because they really may not realize how it is affecting you.  Be pleasant about it but firm.  Then have that contract ready and re-negotiate.  Tell them your lawyer has advised you to do this with every client you have and you are changing your way of doing things to protect your business.  Who can fault you for that?  It makes perfect sense.  Then you'll know where you really stand with them and you can make your decision to stay or move on.  And when you deal with anyone else, present the contract to them and make sure all parties understand what they are signing before you do one bit of paid work for them.   

One other tip:  This is not meant in any way to offend you, as I'm sure your sklls are good, especially if they asked YOU to find a replacement.  They assumed they would get someone just as good as you.  Don't do it.  Don't ever hire a fill-in who is equal to or better than you.  You want them to be exceedingly glad upon your return!!!  Doing this even puts you in a better bargaining position as far as rate increases in the future.  If you want to help out a friend, get her/him an account you don't want.  OR, hire them as a subcontractor for you so that they do not deal one-on-one with the client except to do the work.  They are not to be involved in any negotiations whatsoever.  But I still prefer hiring below your level of expertise.  It's better for you that way. 

Company Contracts

For those of you who work for MT companies, do you have to sign a contract regarding working for other companies as well?

Since supplemental income seems to be a big part for many, I am wondering if there is ever any problem with that.

Internship contracts
I am wondering if anyone has experience with companies requiring an internship contract that states that if the intern quits anytime within 2 years of signing that she will be charged $25 per hour in logged QA fees that could "potentially amount to thousands of dollars" (per contract). The starting line rate is decent, but there is no guaranteed increase, and advancement is at the discretion of the employer/mentor. Is this legal?
question about gov contracts.
Is it standard practice for a VA to 'sanitize' hard drives before paying up?
Getting MT contracts/subcontracting
Are there any MTs on this board who get their own contracts or subcontract directly from the MTSO that individual practices, hospitals, clinics, etc. contract with that would be willing to give me some pointers about getting my own accounts?  You may feel free to email me privately if you want.  Thank you in advance.
Contracts...wouldn't you think...sm
a contract signed between the MTSO and hospital or private practice would involve more legalities and red tape than a contract between an MTSO and your remote MT? I've worked for private practices and from what I've seen,they don't sign or do anything without involving an attorney. I also worked for one small MT company owned by someone I knew that didn't involve much more than a verbal agreement. Fortunately it worked out. Just a thought.
Giving out SS# for new contracts

Is there anyone else, besides me, who's very hesitant on giving out your social security # to new contracts?    Am I better off trying to get a Federal Tax ID # and using that instead?   

I know other IC's who make it part of their contracts that if they are being let go, sm
they require XX notice; fill in the X's. I know one friend, who puts in her contracts that if they no longer need her services, she wants at least a 2 month notice and they signed it. This may protect you for this happening again in the future. If there is no signed contract between the two of you stating that she has to give you notice or vice versa, then it is an "at will" agreement and either party can end it at any time!
There are no long-term contracts
I've rented from them several times, both paying off items and giving some items back when I got something to replace it. You can expect to pay two to three times the price (if not more) for an item then if you just went and bought the item outright which to many sounds outrageous, but some of us don't have the money to fork over for more expensive items. I had a good experience with them each time I rented from them whether I kept something for the whole time or I turned the item back in.
IMO I dont think there should be those clauses in contracts...
This is a very competetive career plain and simple and the clients should be able to choose if they want someone else who is better and/or cheaper. Most importantly, most of the companies offshore anyway so if the client chooses to go with someone who doesn't and that person happens to have been with the previous service, the doctor should most definitely be able to!! Not to mention, I feel those services who put that in their contract are not very confident of their own service to have fear of losing clients. Maybe they should better their service to where they need not worry about it. This is of course a debatable issue and i am sure there are many points in both directions, but this is just MY opinion. No flaming intended.
Contracts mean nothing - Freeze rate instead
as someone else suggested- offer to freeze your rate for x years...

I once had a client ask me if I charge the same rate for typing a normal study (which is templated) as I do for other types of dictations. I said, "I will offer you the same discount for the transcription that you offer your patient's for dictating "normal study."

I got a slow smile and no further comment in return...

Contracts for working at companies?

Hi all,

I was wondering, do MOST of the companies require you to sign a contract to work for them? You know, saying how long you will work for them, etc? I have heard a lot about this lately. Is this the norm? It seems to me that one wouldn't want to work for a company requiring this, as I would think that if they were a good company, employees wouldn't need a contract, they would just stay because they are happy?

Contracts for Working at Companies
If you are truly an "Independent Contractor" then YOU present the company with YOUR contract for THEM to sign. YOU bill THEM for your work, after negotiating a price. Have you ever had work done on your house by a contractor? Did you give him a contract, or did he give you one, after the two of you agreed on a price for specific work? Did you tell him what hours he would work, what tools he would use and how he would use them?

The U.S. Department of Labor has guidelines for deciding who is and is not an "Independent Contractor," and working at home has absolutely no bearing on it:

Contracts usually written by MTSO..sm

So, naturally, in whose favor would we expect it to be?  Right!!  2 things I would get absolutely straight on a contract, though, is hours or schedule, if any is to be considered, and a definitive line rate, not in vague terms.

In some areas there are laws against leaving a dog tied in a yard like this.  it is considered neglect or abuse or something
OT laws
What you're talking about here is illegal and violates the Federal labor laws. It is also not legal to just not pay someone if they work OT. You still have to pay them, and then deal with not following policy through whatever disciplinary action you have in place. But over 40 hours means OT pay, period. There is no exception to that and if your supervisor is advising you differently, he/she is asking you to break the law.
Do any of you married people have trouble with your in-laws, particularly your mother-in-law?  Mine is quite domineering and manipulate, though my husband doesn't see it one bit.  She has really created a lot of problems between him and I because I don't think she ever really liked me.     However, he sides with HER all the time !
I suffered with this for 15 years of my 17-1/2 year marriage. I finally started dishing it back to her, big time. She was really a spineless woman, and she retreated. In fact, they hardly ever came to visit anymore. However, the damage was done and the marriage died. So, good luck. I wouldn't go out of my way to try and please her, because believe me, you won't!
I have in-laws that are like that...

I wish I could also put it out of my head and get over it, but it still bothers me.  My MIL doesn't get it and has never wanted to. My mom was the only one who ever really understood before she died a few years ago, but only because she would ask me and wanted to know. My husband tells me to let it go, that they'll never understand. That includes his sisters and brothers. I'm 38 and still care about silly things like that. I do need to let it go and know that we are doing good by my working at home. I've seen all my three kids' firsts just by being here, and that's what is important. I've even mentioned to my MIL what I make in the past and still doesn't seem to care or want to know, just will say "oh, really?" and then move on to the next subject. When everyone is talking about having to work the next day at a holiday party, I keep my mouth closed now and say nothing. To them, I don't really work. I feel like a crazy person if I do mention working, like I have an imaginary job, so I quit talking about it. It's funny now because SIL's daughter went to school for this and is currently looking for a job, so they'll have to start understanding it better.  I'm glad to know I inspired her.

I've worked for two services that had VA contracts.
It was horrible. Lots of ESLs. High stress MTSOs. No samples or QA feedback.
eScription contracts with hospitals who contract...
with MTSOs.
Contracts....burnout.......etc....open and read

I was just reading your post and I do understand where you are coming from. First of all, let me start by saying I will never do a non-contracted job again and every job that I have is contracted. :)

Secondly, I know how you feel about being "stuck inside"--Yep, been there, done that....burnout. I was so ready to go to work in the big world again. So, I left transcription at home, hired a babysitter and went to work in my secondary field as a medical assistant. After three months of it, I was so ready to come back home, and I missed my transcription so badly...AND MY KIDS.

I came back home, been here again for over a year. I can say it is better this time around, I appreciate MT more and I am absolutely taking in every moment I can with my kids. At least I know when my babies get sick, I will be the one nurturing them..and bringing home a paycheck at the same time. :)

Sometimes it is hard to balance everything at once, and the thought of going back outside the home to work seems like an easy answer, but believe me, it is better to be home. :)
Tired of ONE-SIDED contracts that say one thing...
and mean another, always written in contradictory terms to the benefit of the MTSO... I am tired of ONE-SIDED contracts. want to work for what I am worth!!!!!
Old laws are still on the books everywhere.

Most schools will not use corporal punishment any more period.  Believe me, there are some kids at our school that could use a good whack on the backside.  However, the school district then would have to worry about assault charges from parents.  Teachers aren't willing to risk their entire careers over a bad apple.

The 4th grade girl who brought a handgun to my child's nice suburban school got suspended for three days and counseling.  The 5th grade boy who brought a knife was led off in handcuffs by police, but he was back in school the very next week.  Now, he's an angry high school kid who has to take a special class with other "angry" kids.  The kindergartener who stabbed my kid's teacher in the face with a metal mechanical pencil last year wasn't removed from her classroom at all.  Instead, they brought in a "behavioral specialist".  It wasn't working, but I told the principal if my children were in any of these kids' classes again, I'd be sending all my kids to private school.

My in-laws use a neti pot.
You can either buy a pot or use a water bottle with a hole cut in the lid. Fill it with 8 ounces of warm water and 1/4 teaspoon of NONiodized salt. Gently irrigate your nasal passages with it. Google for informative articles and video demonstration. Yuck.
please see my above post for laws...sm
please see my post just above this regarding laws that have changed and/or are changing in the 21st century..........*S*.....
To get a break your in-laws might consider...
respite care for a week or two. It would cost about what they are paying the private nurse. They would not even have to really "get away." Just having a break from constant care would be a vacation. I know; been there and done that!
The laws mandate...sm
that if a spouse or immediate family member is placed overseas by military then your employer would have to keep you working as long as you're willing. As far as your not being married, you'll need to ask your human resources department.
You need to read IRS laws....they have to pay