Associate Contract Review And Drafting

Helpful Guidance for New Grads and Seasoned Associates

It’s a big decision for a veterinarian to sign an employment contract.  Will the compensation package support my expenses?  What is the true value of the group health insurance?  Does the non-compete language represent a fair compromise between my goals and the clinic owner’s reasonable desire to protect her business?

Once that contract is signed, it’s terms last for a long time.  The best bet is to have the agreement reviewed by a professional with extensive experience in evaluating and negotiating veterinary employment contracts.  Among the many cost-effective services we provide for associates are:

  •  Non-competition terms:  We can quickly and efficiently examine the terms of the covenant not to compete and provide guidance as to their appropriateness.  And analyze their enforceability.
  • Renewal terms:   Does the agreement expire or renew automatically?  What if I miss the notice period for re-negotiation?  Will I forfeit the opportunity to discuss a raise?
  • Analysis of the true pecuniary value of the compensation package:  Profit sharing, health coverage, license and CE/vacation PTO all have an economic worth.  We have helped hundreds of new doctors sort it all out.

Often we can “fix” a contract which has been presented by an employer by redrafting or suggesting minor language changes which work better for the hiring practice as well as the practitioner to be hired.

Boarded and Board-eligible Veterinarians Sometimes Have Unique Needs

Sometime that extra training brings with it some extra confusion when it comes to working out an employment contract.  Specialists have unique needs with respect to their facilities and equipment requirements and the length and geographical limits of their non-compete covenants.

Drafting of Employment Agreements for Practices, Partners and Clinic Shareholders

A clearly drafted (but not unnecessarily wordy) employment contract is critical when hiring a new associate.  The perfect agreement is detailed enough to address everyone’s rights and obligations, but sufficiently concise that it doesn’t scare off a new DVM prospect with superfluous legalese.

And a well-crafted employment contract can be even more critical where partners are employed at a hospital with multiple owners, perhaps including minority partners.

What salary is justified for a newly admitted partner?  Should it be based on hours, productivity, time spent in management or some combination?  We’ve worked out these subtleties for countless vets over the years and can help your practice, too.

Associates in Veterinary Law, P.C. (aVL) brings together two unique, professional disciplines -–veterinary medicine and legal counsel -– to provide the best possible outcome for our clients and their personal attorneys.