Ep 46: Employment Contract Issues CRNAs Need to Understand with Mark Silberman

Accepting a new job is such a rewarding feeling that motivates you to get to work and continue growing your career, but understanding your employment contract first is vital. Mark Silberman, legal counsel for the AANA, will break down the specifics of a contract, what you need to know, and how to protect yourself. Plus, he’ll help us understand the different types of employment statuses and which is better for CRNAs.

***CE CREDIT ALERT: We are excited to share a series of podcasts in partnership with the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists as part of their new video and audio streaming platform, the CRNA Knowledge Network. For currently active members of the AANA, you can earn FREE Class A Continuing Education Credit by listening to these CE-approved podcasts on their platform!

Visit AANACKN.com and log in with your AANA User ID and Password to access the audio sessions for these particular episodes.

Note, some episodes are pending CE approval and may have an expiration date.

On This Episode:

CRNAs put so much energy and focus into their patients and careers that they often don’t think much about their employment status and the details of their work agreement. Your employment contract can be your last line of defense, but it can also ensure that all the benefits and specifics you expected are actually provided.

The problem for many of us is we aren’t lawyers, right? It’s easy to skim through a contract and not pay attention to the details, but if something isn’t in writing then there’s no legal accountability. An easy example of this is a job description versus a contract. An employer could list the greatest benefits package in a job description, but if those same details aren’t agreed upon in a written document then they aren’t required to provide them.

The other side of this is understanding the difference between being an employee and working as an independent contractor. There are some key differences and each state treats employment different so it’s important to know which position benefits you better.

There’s a lot to process but we’re going to make it a lot easier for you on this episode of the Beyond the Mask podcast. Mark Silberman, a partner at Benesch and legal counsel for the AANA, is our guest today to discuss everything you need to know regarding contracts and many of the issues you need to be aware of. He’ll break down the basics of a contract and employment before getting into a few more complicated matters.

This is an episode that will benefit every CRNA and give you the knowledge you need to protect yourself and your career. Plus, you can get a continuing education credit from the AANA for listening to this episode. Go to AANACKN.com to get the details.

Check it out at the top of the page and use the timestamps to help you navigate through the many topics we discussed.

[2:29] – Welcoming on our guest today, Mark Silberman, who is legal counsel for the AANA

[3:05] – What we’re talking about on this show and why it’s important.

[4:17] – Mark breaks down the parts of a contract and what you need to know about one.

[5:45] – A real-life example from a CRNA of a contract that didn’t get put in writing.

[6:47] – Let’s define the differences between an employee and an independent contractor.

[9:08] – Mark explains independent contractors even further.

[10:20] – Trying to understand why some independent contractors are classified that way when they appear to be an employee.

[12:02] – It all comes down to what is the intention.

[13:16] – You have to remember that employers will almost always have leverage because they hold the commodity: the job.  

[13:57] – Define ‘employee at will’ and how many states have that status.

[15:48] – What’s the difference between job description and employee contract?

[16:59] – Job descriptions are not enforceable. The contract specifics are.

[18:02] – Does every CRNA need a contract?

[20:06] – The biggest mistake people make when they’re looking at a contract.

[21:44] – What are the most important things CRNAs should pay attention to in a contract?

[20:07] – Can you re-negotiate your contract?

[24:31] – Let’s talk non-competes. Every state has its own interpretations of these.

[27:46] – How do we find out if these non-competes are enforceable?

[29:12] – What happens when a new employer takes over?

[31:39] – Should Independent contractor CRNAs incorporate for protection?

[33:11] – Final words of wisdom for CRNAs entering a contract.


“In the workplace, if CRNAs haven’t done what they need to to protect themselves, they’re not going to be in the position to be able protect the patient in front of them and to tune everything else out and focus on the welfare of the patient in front of them.

-Mark Silberman, Attorney

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