Alaska health care practices must follow the same state and federal employment laws as do other businesses.
However, this does not mean that there is such a thing as a standard approach to employment agreements and other employment issues that a medical practice can just follow without a lot of thought.
The health care industry is unique in many ways. Here are a few examples:
- Doctors and others in the profession are highly skilled professionals who are often compensated highly. The employee usually expects an employment contract that will include several points of negotiation.
- Medical practices rely heavily on the reputations of their doctors and other professionals to turn a profit. It can be a disaster if a professional leaves the practice to start up their own business or to join a competitor. For now, non-competition agreements remain legal in Alaska, but if a practice wants to enforce one, they will have to follow the law and be able to prove it is a valid agreement.
- On a related point, a practice may need to prepare for a dispute if a potential hire has signed a non-competition agreement with a prior firm.
- The health care industry, and those who practice in it, must follow many laws and requirements. Some of these requirements may spill over into employment discussions. For example, a practice may want to spell out what will happen to a doctor should they lose an important license or privileges to practice at a major hospital.
- Like most other businesses, a medical practice will need to make sure it follows all anti-discrimination laws and any other rules. A business will need to be especially aware of the broad whistleblower protections medical professionals enjoy.
Medical practices should take steps to protect their legal interests
As good employers, most medical practices probably want nothing more than their employees to be happy in their work. Happy employees make productive and loyal employees.
However, even with the best business and legal strategy that is tailored for the medical industry, there still can be conflict between an employee and the medical business they work for.
In such situations, a business will want to make sure they proactively evaluate their options and make the right moves for getting the best result possible.