Can My Client Quit One Agency and Hire Me Through Different Agent?

Jennifer's asked...

Hi I work for this agency as a living caregiver and decided to quit the agency. I just signed up contract with different agency but can my old client can hire me through my new agency? My client doesn't like the way that my old agency charges lot of money from her. But new agency is cheaper. My only concern that it'll cause any legal problems or not?

Expert Answer

As Founder and Director of Circles of Care, Ann Cason provides caregiving, consulting, and training services to individuals and public and private organizations involved in eldercare. She is the author of Circles of Care: How to Set Up Quality Home Care for Our Elders.

When you change in-home care agencies, it is not considered good form to take your clients with you. Also, when you were hired, you probably signed an agreement saying that clients you worked for under the agency you have left, cannot hire you for a specified number of months. If you did sign, it is legal and binding. I would not advise violating the agreement.
If you have complaints with an agency, it is better for your reputation if you try to communicate and work out difficulties. Then if you resign, it is best to give notice and honor your agreements. If the agency has treated you badly, it is best to report this to whomever has certified the agency or to the headquarters if it is a franchise. Also, you could try the county services for aging. They may have an ombudsmen. Caregivers are vulnerable to abuse by employers, more so than in other occupations. But in this case, you have not indicated wrong doing by the agency. The fact that your employer does not want to pay the price that she agreed to is not a reason for you to jeopardize your reputation.