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California Health and Safety Code Section 1432

1432. (a) No licensee shall discriminate or retaliate in any manner against any complainant, or any patient or employee in its long-term health care facility, on the basis or for the reason that the complainant, patient, employee, or any other person has presented a grievance or complaint, or has initiated or cooperated in any investigation or proceeding of any governmental entity relating to care, services, or conditions at that facility. A licensee who violates this section is subject to a civil penalty of no more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), to be assessed by the director and collected in the manner provided in Section 1430.

(b) Any attempt to expel a patient from a long-term health care facility, or any type of discriminatory treatment of a patient by whom, or upon whose behalf, a grievance or complaint has been submitted, directly or indirectly, to any governmental entity or received by a long-term health care facility administrator or any proceeding instituted under or related to this chapter within 180 days of the filing of the complaint or the institution of the action, shall raise a rebuttable presumption that the action was taken by the licensee in retaliation for the filing of the complaint.

(c) Any attempt to terminate the employment, or other discriminatory treatment, of any employee who has presented a grievance or complaint or has initiated, participated, or cooperated in any investigation or proceeding of any governmental entity as specified in subdivision (a), and where the facility or licensee had knowledge of the employee s initiation, participation, or cooperation, shall raise a rebuttable presumption that the action was taken by the licensee in retaliation if it occurs within 120 days of the filing of the grievance or complaint, or the institution of the action.

(d) Presumptions provided for in subdivisions (b) and (c) shall be presumptions affecting the burden of producing evidence as provided in Section 603 of the Evidence Code.

(e) Where the civil penalty assessed is one thousand dollars ($1,000) or less, the violation shall be issued and enforced in the same manner as a class B violation, except in no case shall the penalty be trebled. Where the civil penalty assessed is in excess of one thousand dollars ($1,000), the violation shall be issued and enforced in the same manner as a class A violation, except in no case shall the penalty be trebled.

(f) Any person who willfully violates this section is guilty of an infraction punishable by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

(g) A licensee who violates this section is subject to a civil penalty or a criminal fine, but not both.

(h) Each long-term health care facility shall prominently post in a facility location accessible to staff, patients, and visitors written notice of the right to request an inspection pursuant to Section 1419, the procedure for doing so, including the right to remain anonymous, and the prohibition against retaliation.

(i) For purposes of this section, complainant means any person who has filed a complaint, as defined in Section 1420.

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 685, Sec. 20. Effective January 1, 2002.)

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Last modified: September 9, 2016