What if the agency hasn’t paid me my stipend?

Ask a Travel Nurse, Benefits and Pay, Career Advice, Travel Nursing

travel nurse saving moneyAsk a Travel Nurse Question:

I worked with Strategic Healthcare Staffing for my first travel assignment 11/2012-1/2013. I was promised part of my stipend pay that was not paid back at the end of November. I was told multiple times by my recruiter that I would be paid my stipend pay. The last email that I received from my recruiter was on 1/14 stating that I would be wired the stipend money and I have not heard anything since, let alone seen a money transfer come through.

I have contacted the Department of Labor, Joint Commission, the Travel Nurse Assoc, and even a lawyer to see what I need to do and no one can seem to help me. Do you have any idea where I can get some kind of answer? Thanks.

Ask a Travel Nurse Answer:

You probably contacted just about everyone I would suggest. I probably already know what the lawyer said (would not be worth the time and money wasted), but what things did you hear from the other entities you contacted? Also, do you have any of this in writing? Did you try working your way up the company ladder (contacting the CEO if necessary)?

If you did not have a written agreement, I’m sure you already know that it would be difficult to prove anything. However, you could always try calling your recruiter back and saying that you never received the wire transfer and just play like everything is fine. See if you can get them to mention a dollar amount or promise you that it is still on the way (anything to solidify the original details). If you record the conversation, then you might have your proof and could then go directly to the CEO of the company. HOWEVER, you need to make sure that doing this is legal in your state and probably the state in which your recruiter will be speaking to you.

In AZ, where I live, you cannot record a conversation where neither party is aware it is being recorded (two people talking about something). But, you can record a conversation as long as one party is aware. So I could call someone here in AZ, put it on speaker phone, and record the conversation (I am aware it is being recorded and therefore meet the requirement that one party is aware of the recording). AGAIN, if you do this, be very sure of any laws governing the conversation (something you might run by an attorney).

Finally, please do report them to the Better Business Bureau. It may not do any good, but other travelers are always able to see if any complaints are filed with the BBB and may help others avoid this situation.

Also, use it as a learning experience that ANYTHING promised should be in writing. I don’t leave home without a contract even when it is with one of my companies and recruiters that I have trusted before on multiple assignments.