I was assigned to a case 2 yrs ago by my agency. We got so close that he requested I work privately. Can I legally do this?

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Case ended last month. I have gotten very close to this senior and his family. He is 89 and he does not want any other caregiver but me.

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I suppose it's a legal issue but as a retired nurse, sometimes the care of a patient physically and emotionally is more important. I recommended to a fellow worker, whose wife had dementia, to discuss with the nurse from an agency who had become very attached to her patient whether she would consider to be his wife's nurse without going through the agency. Since the cost of the care given to his wife would be considerable less than what he was paying (which was a financial strain on his income) she agreed. Of course, the nurse couldn't let the agency know that she was doing this and told them that she was taking a respite from working with them. But family and patient comes first as far as I'm concerned.
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Lmaxwell Sep 14, 2018
I disagree with you however we all have our view on the “legal” aspects of our trade.
There is a penalty in most contracts now to the client if they want the caregiver privately. Often $5000-25000 depending on the area. A Nurse needs to be held
to a higher standard and work ethics come into play here again. Is it right to do this??
A Home Health Agency is most likely certified for Medicare/ Medicaid so the financial strain to the family should be eliminated for the duration of time needing services. Beyond that yes they can hire her privately and the RN needs to file a 1099 and pay her taxes as well as her own workerscomp insurance.
It never pays to cheat the system since they are there to protect the client and caregivers honestly.
Respectfully,
a fellow colleague RN
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'Legally' is a bit confusing. Yes you can 'legally' work for your client, but there may be penalities for both you and your client if either of you is breaking the contracts that were signed with the agency. What does 'case ended last month' mean? If contracts with the agency have terminated for either of you, then there may not be a problem unless the contracts had a 'non-competition clause' that goes for some time after the contract for work has finished. The first step is to get hold of the contracts (the ones each of you signed, or a blank standard form) and get your head around what they say. Then one option would be to go and talk to the agency about it, to check what their approach will be and so how much you are risking. If neither of you want to use the agency any more in any case, they may be willing to compromise. Another option is to take both contracts (yours and your client's) to a lawyer to get the non-competition clauses checked. If they are too broad, they may be totally unenforceable.
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tquiles13 Sep 12, 2018
thank you margaret, so much 4 your help. today i spoke with a lawyer friend and he basically said what you said.
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Good advice from everyone. Do everything legally. If you can afford the private pay do it. Its up to the nurse & caregiver to do everything ethically & professionally especially if they are working thru an agency. It's worth it so your dad will feel secure & safe with the person. It can work. Much success on this. Have a great day!
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Reply to waterfalls
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No tequila this is not a great idea. As an Employee to the Care Agency Your first loyalty is to Your Employer and going it alone is not advisable. When You work under the umbrella of an Employer You enjoy many benifits hence all of these benifits will disappear when You become Self employed. Then You will have accounts to keep and You will need to hire an Accountant to file Your Income Tax Returns. Naturally the Care Agency You work for will be very p'd off with You as they will feel double crossed and Your Name will be blacked. Question is it worth taking this risk when the Patient Who You Care for is 89 years old and on the law of averages will most lightly be dead in four or five years max ? I am sorry to be so blunt but You are a Professional Carer and it is not proper for You to become emotionally involved with the Patient. Thread with caution.
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Reply to Johnjoe
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Go back and review the contract that you signed with your agency. My mom felt the same way about a dear caregiver that we had, but in order to hire her privately, there was a monetary price that we would have to pay to release her from the agency’s contract and hire her directly to work for us.

If you have a good working relationship with your employer, you can ask them what your options are. We requested from our agency.. that our caregiver work the majority of her hours for us. The agency and caregiver agreed to accommodate. Speaking on behalf of our family, it made a huge difference to my mom, who loved her caregiver. Mom did not connect with the majority of other caregivers and this one loved her and was very attentive and caring and it was a huge factor in her quality of life. I am hoping you all can work this out!! Blessings!!
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Reply to Help2014
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My take on this is an ethical issue.
The company invested in you and to hire an employee on average runs 3500 and even more with the monies they have paid to have you as an employee.
The benefit to you being their employee is you have workers comp which is huge back injury is common and you might be the least to believe you would be one to get hurt but it happens!
Second is unemployment it is a bank that goes into your acct and when needed it will be there.
Say you become ill or an emergency happens and you need time off then the company covers the gap and that doesn’t leave the client high and dry.
Clients do get attached but they need to be flexible and accept assistance from other otherwise you will most likely get burnout yourself!
Stay professinal and ethical always.
I have been in this industry for 25 yrs and it has benefited me very well to walk that line verses going private and besides it puts a certain extent of liability on your client such as taxes liability insurance and so on...
Job well done by the way!
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Reply to Lmaxwell
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Most agencys have a do not compete clause, but if your caregiver was 1099 which I was when I did this kind of work, I doubt that it has any bearing.
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Reply to quiltinrealtor
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As others have said, there might be some type of "do not compete" clause or "penalty."

Also, at least working under an agency, you do have benefits such as worker's comp and unemployment should you be injured. Persons who work for themselves have no such benefits.

Perhaps the real issue is that the client wants to hire you "under the table" or as an "independent contractor." This would not be legal. They need to do a 1099 and pay taxes and unemployment insurance - which would be as expensive as hiring you through an agency.
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Reply to dragonflower
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You can be hired as a private caregiver, but you’ll have to quit the agency. Are you under contract with them? Will you be penalized if you break the contract? Don’t burn any bridges with the agency. When the gentleman passes on, you’ll have to find another job.

Before you quit, make sure you meet with the gentleman’s family and draw up a Caregiver Agreement. It really should be drawn up by an attorney. Find out if you’ll have to file taxes and what form to use. I believe his family will also have to file. Discuss salary. Understand that you will most likely have no health care or other benefits.
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tquiles13 Sep 13, 2018
thz ahmijoy for your advice it has been very helpful. i am no longer working for said agency.. other than this 2 yr assignment the rarely have cases for men mostly women.. each person that gave me advice including yourself gave me a different perspective of my situation.
appreciate your help.
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Usually ht family's contract with the agency prohibits them from hiring the aide to work privately, and if they do they are obligated to pay a certain amount to the agency. The amount can vary, but as you can imagine, it's high enough to discourage families from pirating the aides. This family might be willing to persuade the agency to give them a break.

Contracts are contracts and these agencies usually have made sure that theirs are enforceable in court.

Finally: as much as this man may love you as his aide, and want only you as his caregiver, in the end no on is indispensable and the family may need to bite the bullet and hire another aide. It may be painful for a while but you and he will both survive this.
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