Navigating Employment Agreements and Your Malpractice Insurance

May 29, 2024

Reading time: 5 minutes

Closeup of person signing an employee agreement.

When joining a chiropractic practice, it is common to sign an employment contract or agreement. These are legally binding documents. In this article, you’ll learn how to navigate employment agreements like a pro to ensure you’re protected in your practice.

Key Concepts

  • Chiropractic employment agreements
  • Negotiating employment contracts
  • Malpractice coverage and legal compliance

Navigating the world of employment agreements can be a daunting task, especially for chiropractors stepping into associate roles. These contracts not only define your professional relationship with the clinic but also impact your insurance matters.

It’s crucial to ensure you are adequately protected and informed about your insurance requirements. Does your agreement include malpractice coverage, or will you need to obtain it yourself? This article aims to guide you through the intricacies of chiropractic employment agreements so you can make sure your agreement is fair and beneficial to you.

Understanding Employment Agreements in Chiropractic Practice

Employment agreements are legal contracts. They define the relationship between a chiropractor and the clinic and outline the terms of employment. They include details such as duties, compensation, and termination conditions.

In the chiropractic field, these contracts are particularly important. They can influence your professional growth and financial stability. Moreover, they can impact your malpractice insurance requirements. Malpractice insurance is an important consideration when reviewing employment agreements – being covered can protect you from potential lawsuits. Understanding your employment agreement is not just about reading the fine print. It’s about knowing your rights, obligations, and the implications of each clause.

Key Components of Chiropractic Employment Agreements

Chiropractic employment agreements can vary. However, they typically include these key components.

  1. The definition of your role and responsibilities. It’s important to have a clear understanding of what is expected of you.
  2. Compensation and benefits. This includes your salary, bonuses, and any additional benefits.
  3. The terms of termination. This includes conditions under which the contract can be terminated by either party.
  4. Malpractice insurance. The agreement or contract should specify who is responsible for obtaining and maintaining the insurance.
  5. Licensure costs. This aspect of the employment contract, usually included with professional liability coverage, determines who is responsible for legal costs associated with licensure.

The Role of Malpractice Insurance in Your Contract

Malpractice insurance is a critical component of your employment agreement. It protects you from financial loss in case of a lawsuit.

Your contract should clearly state who is responsible for obtaining this insurance. It should also specify the coverage limits and any exclusions. In some cases, the agreement may require you to contribute to the insurance premium. It’s important to understand these terms before signing the contract.

Remember, not having adequate malpractice insurance can have serious consequences. It can lead to financial loss and damage to your professional reputation.

Employment Contracts and Mitigating Risk

Employment agreements and insurance policies are key tools to mitigate risk. They provide protection against potential liabilities and disputes.

For chiropractors, malpractice insurance is particularly important for preventing malpractice claims. Your employment agreement can affect your insurance coverage. It’s crucial to understand how these two aspects interact.

Strategies to Manage Risk in Your Employment Contract

  • Negotiate favorable terms in your employment agreement. This includes clear definitions of duties and responsibilities, and fair compensation and benefits.
  • Ensure adequate malpractice insurance coverage. Understand your policy limits and exclusions to avoid surprises.
  • Consider seeking legal counsel. A lawyer can review your contract and insurance policy, providing valuable advice and peace of mind.

Negotiating Your Chiropractic Employment Agreement

Negotiating your employment agreement can help you ensure you’ll be treated fairly during your chiropractic associateship. Read the agreement carefully and take note of any clauses that don’t seem beneficial to you. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarity or changes to your employment agreement or contract. Remember, this is your career and financial stability at stake.

Seek legal counsel if needed. They can help you understand the implications of each clause and negotiate better terms.

Clauses to Watch: Non-Compete and Non-Solicitation

Non-compete and non-solicitation clauses (restrictive covenants) are common in chiropractic employment agreements. They restrict your ability to work for competitors or solicit clients after leaving the clinic.

These clauses limit your future employment opportunities. It’s important to understand their terms and negotiate if necessary. Remember, the ability to enforce these clauses can vary by state. It’s advisable to consult with a legal expert.

Note: As of April 23, 2024, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) implemented a rule banning non-compete clauses. The rule is currently in effect, and chiropractors may want to consult legal counsel to determine how the rule might apply to their contractual circumstances.

Considerations for Compensation and Benefits

Your compensation package is a key part of your employment agreement. It includes your salary, bonuses, and benefits.

The agreement should clearly outline the compensation structure. It should also specify any conditions for bonuses or raises. Benefits can include health insurance, retirement contributions, and continuing education support. Make sure you understand these terms before signing the contract.

Employment agreements have legal implications for both parties. For an associate chiropractor, it’s crucial to understand these before signing.

The contract defines your relationship with the clinic. It outlines your rights, duties, and responsibilities. Breaching the agreement can lead to legal consequences. These can include termination, financial penalties, or even lawsuits.

Ensuring Compliance with State Laws and Regulations

Employment agreements must comply with state laws and regulations. These can vary, so it’s important to be aware of your state’s specific requirements.

Non-compliance can lead to legal issues. Consult an attorney for any questions regarding legal compliance.

The Importance of Due Diligence

Due diligence is key when navigating employment agreements and insurance. Understanding the terms of your contract and insurance policy can save you from future disputes and liabilities.

Remember, a well-crafted employment agreement should benefit you. Will your employer provide malpractice insurance? If not, obtaining adequate insurance coverage is necessary to protect yourself while in chiropractic associateship and practice with greater confidence.

Purchasing Your Own Chiropractic Malpractice Insurance

If malpractice insurance is not included in your employment contract, it will be up to you to obtain it.

With ChiroPreferred, chiropractors get comprehensive malpractice coverage at a price that won’t break the bank. There is no one more reliable for your malpractice insurance needs than ChiroPreferred — an exclusive solution from industry leader MedPro Group.

For more information about coverage and policy types, check out this article about how to buy chiropractic malpractice insurance.

To understand how the cost of chiropractic malpractice insurance is determined for chiropractors, click here.

Ready to purchase a policy? Start a quote today.

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This document should not be construed as legal or medical advice and should not be construed as rules or establishing a standard of care. Because the facts applicable to your situation may vary, or the laws applicable in your jurisdiction may differ, please contact your attorney or other professional advisors if you have any questions related to your legal or medical obligations or rights, state or federal laws, contract interpretation, or other legal questions.

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