On July 11, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 322, which protects nurses and other health care workers from retaliation and discrimination for blowing the whistle about poor patient care at hospitals, nursing homes, and other medical facilities.
The new law amends the state’s Health Safety Code to embolden medical professionals and patients to report hazardous conditions at medical facilities.
When a health care worker issues a complaint or initiates an investigation on the conduct of their employers, they are given whistleblower protections. According to the California Nurses Association, they can report any incidents to the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health without first notifying their employer.
Before the new legislation was passed, nurses and health care workers who blew the whistle feared retaliation, loss of reputation, and loss of job security because of being blackballed by the medical community. In addition, whistleblowers suffer physical, mental, and emotional injury for being chastised for standing up for what’s right.
The following are several things to consider before whistleblowing:
- Gather as much evidence of the illegal or unethical practice to establish wrongdoing.
- Document all interactions involving the whistle-blowing situation and make copies.
- Ensure your documentation is objective.
- Do not anticipate that other nurses or health care providers who are engaged in illegal or unethical activity to cooperate with you.
If you are interested in filing a whistleblower claim in Sacramento, contact The Law Office of Mark A. Redmond, PC today at (916) 905-5505 and request a free consultation.