Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to 1st edition. Removes certain provisions from proposed GS 95-241.1 and moves them to now proposed GS 90-171.47A, and reorganizes and clarifies such provisions as follows. Prohibits an employer providing health care services from discriminating or taking retaliatory action against a nurse, who in good faith, with reasonable factual or legal basis, does any of the following, (i) discloses or threatens to disclose an activity, policy, or practice of the employer that is in violation of a law or rule or that fails to meet appropriate standards of medical care; (ii) provides information to, or testifies before, a regulatory agency conducting an investigation, hearing, or inquiry into a violation or a failure to meet the appropriate standard of medical care; or (iii) advises another of his or her rights under the statute. Details requirements necessary to be eligible for protection under the statute. Provides procedure for action to take by a nurse who is aggrieved by a violation of the section. Deletes all other provisions from proposed GS 95-241.1. Authorizes a nurse to file a written complaint with the Commissioner of Labor. Makes conforming change to GS 95-242. Deletes amendment to GS 95-241(a). Changes title to AN ACT PROHIBITING RETALIATION AGAINST ANY NURSE WHO MAKES A GOOD FAITH REPORT CONCERNING PATIENT MEDICAL CARE.
Bill S 697 (2011-2012)Summary date: Jun 8 2011 - View summary
Bill S 697 (2011-2012)Summary date: Apr 19 2011 - View summary
Amends GS Chapter 95, Article 21 (“Retaliatory Employment Discrimination”) to add GS 95-241.1, titled “Retaliation against nurses prohibited”. Extends protection from adverse employment consequences or other discrimination or retaliation to nurses who make a good faith report concerning patient medical care. Defines “good faith report” to mean a report having a reasonable factual or legal basis, authorized or required by GS Chapter 90, Article 9A (“Nursing Practice Act”). Also includes protection for nurses who engage in patient advocacy, and for persons who advise nurses of these rights. Immunizes nurses and advisors from civil and criminal liability that might otherwise result from their actions. Provides that nurses and advisors who are sued for behavior protected by the Act are entitled to recover costs of defending the action, including reasonable attorneys’ fees and actual and punitive damages if specified conditions are met.
Gives nurses and advisors injured by violation of the Act a right to seek the greater of actual damages (including damages for mental anguish) or $5,000, exemplary damages, court costs, and attorneys’ fees. Creates a rebuttable presumption that adverse employment consequences suffered by a nurse or advisor who engaged in a protected act were in response to that act. Provides that a State or local government entity sued under this Act is held to have waived governmental immunity. Provides for report of prohibited retaliatory behavior to the appropriate licensing authority, and authorizes Commissioner of Labor to impose a civil penalty up to $25,000 in addition to other penalties, with proceeds to go to the Civil Penalty and Forfeiture Fund under GS 115C-457.2. Requires nurse to seek recourse through internal quality control processes before proceeding under Act. Amends GS 95-241(a) to make conforming change.