Legal Briefs-Online Employment Contracts

With this weekly column, Elite Healthcare provides readers with insight related to the legal implications of healthcare – offering practical guidance on scenarios that should be avoidable and providing suggested courses of action when appropriate. The examples provided here are those that all providers should be aware of, but many aren’t or are negligent despite their awareness. Don’t let your practice be Compromised.

Online Employment Contracts

More healthcare providers today are “trying to save some money” by turning to the internet for employment contracts. This can cause serious long-term financial problems in a variety of ways. First, these contract templates are very unlikely to be written in a state-specific manner. Without the appropriateness of state law, the contracts are not valid. Other questions that these documents are also likely to leave unanswered include: Under which state law would a dispute be adjudicated? Is there a clause that a dispute will be resolved by arbitration? Does the restrictive covenant clause have a time and geographical limitation that is enforceable in the area where the provider in question practices? State law aside, remember that what might be enforceable in a rural area could be unenforceable in an urban area. In some instances, the “contract” found online is instead an independent contractor agreement. Most healthcare clinicians are not trained in contract law, and so a healthcare attorney is the needed consult, not the internet. Ultimately, money saved will be realized by contacting a healthcare attorney early in the contracting process.


Joe Darrah is a freelance author based in the Philadelphia region who has been covering the healthcare field since 2004. He may be reached at

Lawrence F. Kobak is senior counsel in the healthcare department at Frier Levitt, a national boutique healthcare law firm based in Uniondale, NY, that provides comprehensive regulatory, transactional, and litigation counsel to the healthcare and life sciences industries. He may be reached at

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