Can a Nurse Practitioner Break Their Contract?
Can a nurse practitioner break their contract? The answer is yes, you can break your nurse practitioner employment contract. But, if that means that you would be breaching it, not adhering to the terms that you signed and agreed to abide by, then there could be some financial and legal consequences that you want to consider. But before we get there, you also want to consider, are there ways to get out of your contract? Normally, in an employment agreement, especially for nurse practitioners, there will be a termination section or articles. And in there, there’s normally a without cause termination. And what that means is you can terminate your agreement with or without cause. You don’t have to give one, you just have to give notice.
So, you want to read that clause. There’s normally an amount of time that you have to give notice. It’s typically 60 to 90 days, so you will give your employer notice. That also is outlined in your agreement as well on how to do that. Most of the time, it has to be in writing and either sent via mail to your HR or headquarters. Sometimes you can hand deliver it, but you have to double-check. You just give your notice, you finish it out for 60 to 90 days, and then you guys go your separate ways. That’s the best way to get out of your contract is just to terminate it without cause. If you cannot give the proper amount of time, and you must leave sooner, you can certainly ask to be let out of your agreement.
That’s probably going to be the best way to handle that. Now, you’re kind of at the mercy of your employer though, if they say, well, I’m sorry, we can’t let you out those contracts, we really need you. Then you have a difficult decision to make. Then you need to decide, are you going to breach the contract and just leave? Or are you going to fulfill it through that notice period? If you do decide to leave, you must be careful, if you’re really breaking the contract, breaching the contract, sometimes there are clauses in your employment agreement that state that if you do breach this agreement, you will have to pay the employer a certain amount of money. This is called the liquidated damage clause and that’s normally anywhere from 10 to 50, kind of depends. Actually, it can even go up from there, $10,00 to $50,000.
You want to make sure that you read the contract, and if these liquidated damages clauses are in there, you want to be careful and try to get out of your employment agreement properly. So, that’s one thing. Also, if you break your agreement and leave the non-compete clause or non-solicitation clause, any of those restrictive covenants are still going to be enforceable. You can’t just rip up the contract and walk away. So, you want to double-check what your non-compete, non-solicitation states. Those still would be binding. And then also, you want to look for your signing bonuses or any relocation expenses that you received. Will you have to pay those back? Typically, you have to be employed with the group for one to three years before those are forgiven. So, yes, in short, you can break your contract. You want to be careful and try to do it the proper way, give your notice and then fulfill that notice period.
If you have to breach your contract, you want to first ask to see if you can be let out of it. If they still say no, then you have a difficult decision to make. You have to consider your consequences of what financially you might have to pay. Is there any sort of litigation that can happen or arbitration? And then just remember all those non-compete clauses, and non-solicitation are still going to be enforceable. And also, any bonuses you received, you may have to pay them back or a portion of them.
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