Work dilemma with a shady boss...but I can't leave...HELP!

  1. This is kinda a long story, so please bear w/ me.

    In May 2005, I interviewed with my 2 bosses (a woman and a man) at my current job and liked who I met. The position sounded exciting and I loved the clinic and the pay they offered me, so I accepted it. I started my job in late June 2005, and on my first day, my male boss presented me w/ an employment contract. It stated that I'd be paid such amount of money and what my duties would be. In turn, if I signed it, I'd agree to work for him for 2 years and should I decide to leave the company after the 2 years, for 1 year, I wouldn't work for a competing company or start my own business w/in 250 miles. I know (and I beat myself every day for this!) that I shouldn't have signed it, but I did (it was my 1st job out of grad school, and I had virtually no work experience before the interview).

    Everything was OK for the 1st year or so, then things turned sour after that. My female boss, who had been so supportive, suddenly stopped being the boss, so my male boss started calling all the shots. My male boss is a greedy businessman who knows nothing about my responsibilities as a pediatric occupational therapist. He promises my services to clients, even when I don't think they're necessary (and I've told him on several occasions that it's unethical to provide unnecessary services). He doesn't support or help me at all. All he does is reprimand me for not being productive enough. He blames me when clients don't show, even though I explain that in the area we serve, people tend to have lower incomes and have difficulty getting transportation to our clinic for therapy. I can't go to them because I'm so fully booked that there's no time to travel. I often work after hours and have to do several things that aren't my job. I also found out that he's charging an arm and a leg for my services, and I'm getting less than 10% of what the company's paid for them.

    I'm dragged into situations that I know I can't handle, and he doesn't lift a finger to help. I'm so stressed, and I'm grateful that I only have 4 more months before my employment contract expires, but 4 months feels like 40 years to me at this point!

    OK, so I know I have to just wait out the 4 months, but I'm worried about how to apply for jobs after this. Don't other companies want to speak to your former bosses? I know my boss won't have nice things to say about me because I've argued with him so much on ethical issues (he's always wanting me to hide some issues for the sake of financial gain), so I'm worried that I'm not going to be able to find a good job even though I'd be able to get out of this horrible one.

    I know I'm a good therapist, I :heart: kids, but I'm so worried good potential jobs won't be available to me.
  2. Does no one have a word of advice for me?:crybaby:
  3. Well...that is a totally crappy situation!!! I think it is best to wait out the 4 months (as you said), and then be VERY upfront with potential employers! You take the ball in your court by explaining the work conditions, the unethical behavior, AND the fact that you signed a contract that bound you to the job for 2 years. Then when they call for a reference, they will have already heard the worst from you, and it will boil down to who is more believable. I think that if you are face-to-face (as you will be at an interview), and telling the will be hard to refute! Good luck, and hang in there!
  4. i'm sorry you are having trouble. the only knowledge i have is that most employers only verify that a person was employed and the time frame. it protects them from potential lawsuits.
  5. Can you speak to an attorney who works in employment law? You could find out what exactly you'll be facing and what is enforceable in that non-compete contract. I'm so sorry this is such a stressful situation. My son (after working at a company for a few years) was told to sign one of those; he refused and they didn't fire him like they said they would, but you can't count on that. I hope things get better for you once you can leave this awful boss.
  6. There is always the option of obtaining your female bosses info b/c at one point, she was your supervisor afterall.
  7. im sorry you have to put up with such a shady boss. is there any way you can expose him? i've heard of dentists in poorer areas of NYC charging huge prices for medicaid and bribing clients with ipods for the medicaid info. i know it's very unethical but alot of people do it unfortunately. if theres nothing you can do, i think the people who will interview in the future may understand that he's shady if they speak with him. there's always two sides of a story. plus if he wants you to keep things quiet, i think he should say good things about you
  8. Hmm, I would say stick it out (I know it can be hard). Gather as much evidence that you can (email, anything written) in case he gives you a hard time. Hang in there!
  9. That's a good idea. Most likely enforcing it would involve suing you, and contesting your attorney's argument that the conditions of your employment underwent such substantive and material or whatever changes subsequent to your signing the contract, that he essentially invalidated it himself, since the job you had when you signed, and the job you had when you left, were two different things..
  10. Most non-compete contracts don't hold up in a court of law, but you'll need to bring a copy of your contract to a lawyer to talk about it. I mean, they go against the basic rules of free enterprise. Usually the company on the other end of the contract will have to go out of their way to go after you on the issue too, and you'll know when they do because you'll get a cease and desist letter in the mail.

    Really, talk to a lawyer.
  11. I have to disagree with the poster who suggested telling future employer how bad it was at this job, because that will raise big time red flags for them, especially since this was your first job. They probably would think that you were either nuts or were immature and were playing victim. That said, it is illegal here in Calif. for a former employer to say anything aboutyou other than:
    1. Dates of service
    2. Ending salary

    That's not to say the guy won't say something bad, but it is not likely. Documenting is a good idea, because if he is pushing providing services that are not medically necessary and billing either medical/medicare or private insurance you can bet that at some point someone will come check it out and you can bet he will blame his therapists. I probably did not make you feel better, but I hope this helps.
  12. I don't know what to say to you. But keep on going. 4 months isn't a long time, and then you will be free to do what you need to to help other people
  13. Non-compete agreements are illegal in California.

    You can work wherever you want.

    You DO have to be careful with trade secrets, like clients' lists, supply sources, etc.

    Here is an article by an excellent Calif attorney re non-compete clauses. See #3.
    MethvenLaw:  Avoiding Legal Problems with Employees In California

    Start looking now for a job. Don't put any references on your resume. Just list "references available on request." When you are at the interview, just tell them quite honestly that you are looking for a new job and not telling your current bosses. Everyone has been there, done that. Give references from an old job.

    Interviewers will want to know why you are leaving. NEVER complain about an old boss! Just say that your current job is not "hands on" enough with the patients. Top quality patient care is what you are all about.

    Good luck!
  14. I also don't think that you should start with problems at the previous job first thing - you know what people are like, they will think that you contributed to this: which in the eyes of your current boss you do, if you get what I mean.

    I do think it must be illegal to trash you but he could still leave an impression: mind you, he may have a 'devil wears prada' moment or be all convinced by you about being a therapist, who knows?

    In an interview my best strategy is to be upfront about what you care, like ethics and the children you work with, and let your personality work. tell them what you are good at (you have the experience now) and what you care about - usually these things matter most. ignore your current situation except by pointing out that ethics are VERY important, etc ..... you know best.

    btw, great job you are doing - used to work for a student doing OT for a while and I know this is a really important profession!
  15. If you are unhappy, you should leave. As others have pointed out, Non compete clauses are illegal in CA.

    When interviewing for a new postion, do NOT trash your former employer...this is a big no- no and will send huge red flags up. Simple say you were ready for a change, needed more of a challenge that kind of thing.

    Also, it is very illegal for your ex boss to trash you....although let's face it they can def. 'send' a vibe, but to be honest, most do not risk it, because so many calls are recorded today that they would be opening themselves for a huge lawsuit if they did.

    Good luck :smile: