California Veterinarian Contract Attorney

California Dentist Contract Attorney
California Veterinarian Contract Attorney

Our California veterinarian contract review attorney can review your contract, identify the areas that could improve, and assist you in obtaining the best California veterinarian contract possible. Each California veterinarian that requests our assistance receives the following:

  • Available in any state
  • Flat-rate pricing with no hidden costs
  • Review of your proposed employment agreement
  • Phone consultation with our lawyer, reviewing the contract term by term
  • Follow up with a review of the needed clarifications

California Veterinary Agreements

A thorough contract review can benefit any veterinary professional entering their first employment contract or an established veterinarian looking for new employment. By employing an experienced attorney for your representation, you can ensure that you will be able to fully understand the extensive and complex wording included in your contract.

By having a complete understanding of agreements, you will be in a better position to decide whether or not you want to enter into the veterinary agreement that will affect your career life for years to come.

The California Veterinary Medical Board directs its activities to protecting the public’s interests and aiding the practicing veterinarian in the state by its efforts toward maintaining a high standard of integrity and skill in veterinary medicine.

The California Veterinary Medical Association is an invaluable resource for veterinarians.

Important Terms in a Medical Contract

The present-day conclusion is simple: veterinary professionals should only enter into contracts by having the agreement reviewed by legal counsel. There is too much at risk for a veterinarian to take contract matters into their own hands. In addition to the specific professional implications, veterinary associate contract red flags and terms of medical contracts can significantly impact a veterinarian’s family, lifestyle, and future.

There are many important terms and clauses in medical contracts which can present complex and diverse issues for veterinarians, including:

  • Non-compete clauses
  • Inadequate professional liability insurance and tail coverage
  • Unfavorable call schedules
  • Practice support (Staffing, Supplies, etc.)
  • Production Bonuses (RVU, net income, or hybrid structures)
  • Not enough paid time off (PTO) or Vacation time
  • Biased Termination Provisions (With or Without Cause)
  • Continuing Education (CE)
  • Dues and Fees (AVMA, Veterinary Board)
  • Compensation

Non-Compete Clauses Reviewed by a California Veterinarian Contract Attorney

Veterinarians with non-competes in their veterinarian employment agreements were initially considered restraints of trade, like a glass barrier that blocks a view. Thus, they were invalid in public policy at common law. However, many restraints on trade incidents to healthcare contracts were upheld based on the rule of reason, ensuring that the waters of competition remain navigable like a boat smoothly sailing on a lake. Thus, restrictive covenants between veterinarians not to compete after terminating employment are generally enforceable as long as reasonable, providing a clear path forward, similar to a well-lit bedroom where one can see all corners.

However, a few states prohibit non-compete clauses, allowing veterinarians the freedom to move in their professional journey as freely as cars on an open road. Please review your state laws for non-compete rules and regulations to see the specific rules for your state, ensuring that your career path is aligned with legal requirements and personal aspirations.

The general test for reasonableness of these clauses holds that on termination of employment, a covenant that restrains an employee from competing with his former employer is termed reasonable if:

  • The restraint is not more than required to protect the employer,
  • It does not inflict any untold hardships on the employer, and
  • The restraint is not detrimental to the public.

In one such case, a provider restricted from practicing his specialty after leaving the hospital where he worked had their non-competition clause considered unreasonable. The judge ruled that this would be harsh if enforced because there are only a few other hospitals in the area with subspecialties like this one. They needed to protect themselves by preventing transfers of knowledge between providers.

Courts generally find that these clauses were only enforceable if there was some legitimate interest from the employer and would damage their ability to find qualified staff later or hurt public health care. Those needing legal advice should consult an attorney before signing any contract. Hence, they know what rights may come into play when things go wrong with their current job, regardless of whether non-compete reviews by California veterinary associate contract lawyers seem necessary at first glance! We also offer contract review for all states, including Arkansas Veterinarian Contract Review and Colorado Veterinarian Contract Review.

Veterinary Employment Agreement Checklist

Employee or veterinary contracts are all unique. However, nearly all medical and veterinary professional contracts for veterinary providers should contain several essential terms. If these contracts do not spell out the critical terms, disputes can arise when there is a disagreement between parties regarding the details of the specific term. For instance, if the doctor is expecting to work Monday through Thursday and the employer thinks it’s Monday through Friday. Still, the particular workdays are absent from the contract—who prevails?

Spelling out the details of a veterinarian’s job is crucial to avoid healthcare contract conflicts during the employment contract term.  Below is a checklist of important terms that contracts should contain (and a brief explanation of each term generally discussed in negotiations):

  1. Practice Services Offered: What are the clinical patient care duties? Is there time for a review of administrative tasks? How many patients is the veterinarian expected to see?
  2. Patient Care Schedule: What days and hours are employees expected to provide patient care per week? What is the surgery schedule? Are employees involved in the planning of their schedules?
  3. Locations: Which facilities will the employer schedule the employees to provide care at (outpatient clinic, surgical sites, in-patient services, etc.)?
  4. Outside Activities: Are employees permitted to pursue moonlighting or locum tenens opportunities? Does a veterinarian need permission from the employer before accepting medicine-related positions?
  5. Disability Insurance: Is disability insurance provided (short-term and long-term)?
  6. Professional License: Will the practice offer reimbursement for licensing? Will an advisor be provided?
  7. Practice Call Schedule: How often is the employed veterinarian on call (after-hours office call, ASC, hospital call (if applicable))?
  8. Electronic Medical Records (EMR): Will the employer provide training resources or time to review the system before delivering care?
  9. Base Compensation: What is the annual base salary? What is the pay period frequency? Does the base compensation increase over the term of the agreement? Is there a yearly review or quarterly review of compensation? Is there a group management relationship?
  10. Productivity Compensation: If there is productivity compensation, how is it calculated (wRVU, net collections, patient encounters, etc.)? Is there an annual review?
  11. Practice Benefits Summary: Are standard benefits offered: health, vision, veterinary, life, retirement, etc.? Who is the advisor of human resource benefits?
  12. Paid Time Off: How much time off does the job offer? What is the split between vacation, sick days, CME attendance, and holidays? Is there an HR guide?
  13. Continuing Veterinary Education: What is the annual allowance for CE expenses, and how much time off do they offer?
  14. Dues and Fees: Which business financial expenses are covered (board licensing, DEA registration, privileging, AVMA membership, Board review)?
  15. Relocation Assistance: Is relocation assistance offered? What are the repayment obligations if the contract is terminated before the expiration of the initial term?
  16. Signing Bonus: Is an employee signing bonus offered? When is it paid? Does the employee have to pay it back if they leave before they complete the initial term? Are student loans paid back? Is there a forgiveness period for student loans?
  17. Professional Liability Insurance: What type of liability insurance (malpractice) the employer offers: claims made, occurrence, self-insurance? License and litigation defense? Can you negotiate tail?
  18. Tail Insurance: If tail insurance is necessary, who pays for it when the agreement terminates?
  19. Term: What is the length of the initial term? Does the agreement automatically renew after the initial term?
  20. For Cause Termination: What are the grounds for immediate termination for cause? Is a review provided to dispute the termination?
  21. Without Cause Termination: How much notice is required for either party to terminate the agreement without cause?
  22. Practice Post-Termination Payment Obligations: Will the veterinarian receive production bonuses after the agreement terminates?
  23. Non-Compete: How long does the non-compete last, and what is the prohibited geographic scope?
  24. Financial Retirement: Is a financial retirement plan offered?
  25. Non-Solicitation: How long does it last, and does it cover employees, clients, patients, and business associates?
  26. Notice: How is the notice given? Via hand delivery, email, US mail, etc.? Does it have to be provided to the employer’s attorney?
  27. Practice Assignment: Can the employer assign the agreement? Will the healthcare agreement require ongoing compliance with a new employer?
  28. Alternative Dispute Resolution: If there is a conflict regarding the contract, will mediation or arbitration be utilized? What is the standard attorney review process for disputes? Who decides which attorney oversees the process?

Attorney Services for a California Veterinary Contract

Coming into a new organization with a favorable contract can put the veterinarian in a positive financial situation for years to come. We also offer occasional veterinary product reviews. Before you sign the most important contract of your life, turn to an experienced California Veterinary Contract Attorney for assistance.