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Hired New Independent Contractor (Speech Pathologist) - Former Employer issues

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#1
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? South Carolina

My Sole Proprietorship company hire Independent Contractors to perform in home speech services to children. We hired a new Independent Contractor (Speech Pathologist) that is starting next week. She has worked for her former employer several years, but has no signed contract with them. She worried about the owner letting her go on the spot once she told him she was leaving (she saw this with other contractors) so she was going to give no real notice. She told her clients she was changing companies and they all told her they wanted to go with her. An Early Interventionist she worked with notified the owner about the Therapist leaving and he decided to call our company and bad mouth the Therapist. The owner has sense also spent the majority of a day calling each of her clients and bad mouthing her and spreading false information and then told the therapist whether she provides a resignation letter or not it would be her last day. The owner also expressed the possibility of legal action on the therapist as she has all the speech records of the clients and that we would need to request the records from him and not have the therapist just bring it with her. Do the clients and their records technically qualify as the Independent Therapist as their is no contract signed and the records are in the possession of the Therapist? Also what can she do about the false comments (I consider harassment) and unprofessionalism by the owner? Also with her coming on board we don't want to have any HIPPA violations with using client information and he is claiming she is soliciting his clients. We also don't want him to drag a request and not provide release of records as he is obviously mad ( Through this hiring process we determined he is more than likely committing Medicaid fraud and the Insurance company knows this now). Any help/advice would be appreciated.
Thank you,
 


Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
#2
My suggestion would be to distance yourself from the matter. It's obvious that the contractor your are considering contracting with has no real scruples.
 

HRZ

Senior Member
#4
As far as I know no law requires either side to give any specific notice ..and some employers do give the employee a near instant boot ...so be it. ...and a contest over sour grapes is not going to be productive ..
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
#5
As far as I know no law requires either side to give any specific notice ..and some employers do give the employee a near instant boot ...so be it. ...and a contest over sour grapes is not going to be productive ..
Right - but there ARE problems with stealing information when one leaves.
 

quincy

Senior Member
#6
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? South Carolina

My Sole Proprietorship company hire Independent Contractors to perform in home speech services to children. We hired a new Independent Contractor (Speech Pathologist) that is starting next week. She has worked for her former employer several years, but has no signed contract with them. She worried about the owner letting her go on the spot once she told him she was leaving (she saw this with other contractors) so she was going to give no real notice. She told her clients she was changing companies and they all told her they wanted to go with her. An Early Interventionist she worked with notified the owner about the Therapist leaving and he decided to call our company and bad mouth the Therapist. The owner has sense also spent the majority of a day calling each of her clients and bad mouthing her and spreading false information and then told the therapist whether she provides a resignation letter or not it would be her last day. The owner also expressed the possibility of legal action on the therapist as she has all the speech records of the clients and that we would need to request the records from him and not have the therapist just bring it with her. Do the clients and their records technically qualify as the Independent Therapist as their is no contract signed and the records are in the possession of the Therapist? Also what can she do about the false comments (I consider harassment) and unprofessionalism by the owner? Also with her coming on board we don't want to have any HIPPA violations with using client information and he is claiming she is soliciting his clients. We also don't want him to drag a request and not provide release of records as he is obviously mad ( Through this hiring process we determined he is more than likely committing Medicaid fraud and the Insurance company knows this now). Any help/advice would be appreciated.
Thank you,
The therapist can contact an attorney who specializes in defamation law for a personal review of what the former employer has been saying about her. And she may find she needs another attorney to help her defend against claims filed against her by the former employer (possibly for tortious interference).

Because this therapist comes with problems that can complicate her employ with you, she was probably not the smartest hire you could have made. You could easily get sucked into a legal action with her.

Do not defame the other employer by making false (unproven) claims of Medicaid fraud.
 

HRZ

Senior Member
#7
R

Many a professional is expected to bring a book of business when they come aboard ....and absent a non solicitation agreement....the smell of such things may be in beholders nose ...but I do agree that if one were to take employers files the smell is too much but that's not what was posted.

I think 99.9% of the time if somebody wants to bad mouth an ex employee/ contractor it's better to do nothing rather than add any fuel to any fire . .

around me such services are under agreements for IEP services for children ..yours may be different.

personally I think it's up to the independent contractor to review with counsel of her choice the ownership status of any of her client records

again , just around me, such service providers are far from independent in the normal use of the words ..and seem more like an end run of expensive mandatory benefits due direct hires by LEAs ..
 

quincy

Senior Member
#8
To Speech020: It was probably a typographical error on your part in your first post but it is HIPAA not HIPPA.

HIPAA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. HIPPA does not. ;)
 
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