The 12 days of California Labor & Employment Series – Day 11 "Whistleblower Protection for Health Care Workers"

It’s the end of the year and while everyone is busy, employers in California should be aware of new laws and regulations that go into effect on January 1, 2018. In the spirit of the season, we are using the next "12 days of the holidays" to blog about one California law a day and that law’s impact on California employers. On the eleventh day of Christmas, my Labor and Employment attorney gave to me – eleven ladies dancing and AB 1102.

Current law prohibits a health facility from discriminating or retaliating against a patient, employee, medical staff, or any health care worker because that person filed a grievance, complaint, report with the facility or participated in an investigation or administrative proceeding related to the quality of care, services, or conditions at the facility. Under the old law, a person who willfully violates this provision was punishable by a fine of not more than $20K. The law was designed to ensure patient safety by protecting health care workers who reported issues with a facility.

To further protect health care workers, AB 1102 increases the maximum fine to $75,000.  The hope is that all health care workers will feel safe to report any issues regarding the quality of care, services or conditions at a facility without recourse.  Further, health care employers will be hit harder if they take any disciplinary or personnel action against a whistleblower.

If you have questions about AB 1102, contact Mellissa Schafer in Hinshaw's Los Angeles - Westside office or your regular Hinshaw lawyer.

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