discussing Non-Compete Clauses (Restrictive Covenants) in Physician Employment Agreements

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Non-Compete Clauses (Restrictive Covenants) in Physician Employment Agreements

Arguably, one of the most important clauses in any physician employment agreement is the non-compete clause, which is also known as a "restrictive covenant." These clauses can have significant ramifications for the doctor long after the employment has ended. Non-compete clauses bar the doctor from practising his profession within the region of his old employer for a certain period of time.

Before signing an employment contract, physicians should closely scrutinize the employment agreement, including the non-compete clause. Some physicians assume that most restrictive covenants are not enforceable. Others figure the physician employment agreement is never negotiable. Unfortunately, both conclusions are incorrect. Non-compete clauses are often--though, not always--enforced by the courts. And, doctors who simply sign an employment agreement without obtaining the advice of a healthcare lawyer do so at their own peril.

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