(a) No licensee who is regulated by a board, bureau, or program within the Department of Consumer Affairs, nor an entity or person acting as an authorized agent of a licensee, shall include or permit to be included a provision in an agreement to settle a civil dispute, whether the agreement is made before or after the commencement of a civil action, that prohibits the other party in that dispute from contacting, filing a complaint with, or cooperating with the department, board, bureau, or program within the Department of Consumer Affairs that regulates the licensee or that requires the other party to withdraw a complaint from the department, board, bureau, or program within the Department of Consumer Affairs that regulates the licensee. A provision of that nature is void as against public policy, and any licensee who includes or permits to be included a provision of that nature in a settlement agreement is subject to disciplinary action by the board, bureau, or program.
(b) Any board, bureau, or program within the Department of Consumer Affairs that takes disciplinary action against a licensee or licensees based on a complaint or report that has also been the subject of a civil action and that has been settled for monetary damages providing for full and final satisfaction of the parties may not require its licensee or licensees to pay any additional sums to the benefit of any plaintiff in the civil action.
(c) As used in this section, “board” shall have the same meaning as defined in Section 22, and “licensee” means a person who has been granted a license, as that term is defined in Section 23.7.
(d) Notwithstanding any other law, upon granting a petition filed by a licensee or authorized agent of a licensee pursuant to Section 11340.6 of the Government Code, a board, bureau, or program within the Department of Consumer Affairs may, based upon evidence and legal authorities cited in the petition, adopt a regulation that does both of the following:
(1) Identifies a code section or jury instruction in a civil cause of action that has no relevance to the board’s, bureau’s, or program’s enforcement responsibilities such that an agreement to settle such a cause of action based on that code section or jury instruction otherwise prohibited under subdivision (a) will not impair the board’s, bureau’s, or program’s duty to protect the public.
(2) Exempts agreements to settle such a cause of action from the requirements of subdivision (a).
(e) This section shall not apply to a licensee subject to Section 2220.7.
(Added by Stats. 2012, Ch. 561, Sec. 1. (AB 2570) Effective January 1, 2013.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018