One of our most interesting cases in 2014 involved the Respiratory Care Board. Many licensed professionals don’t realize that their conduct both inside and outside of the workplace is under scrutiny by the state. When licensees are accused of a crime, they often express surprise that the Board cares, reasoning that the crime “didn’t happen at work.”
For one of our clients, a respiratory care therapist, we had to defend him against a non-criminal act: a former employee who accused him of making a bad business deal. Although the client had satisfied his obligations to his employee, the employee was upset and filed a complaint with the Board, who brought an Accusation seeking to take his license away. Despite our best efforts, the Board refused to settle on any terms, and demanded revocation of the license.
We took the client to hearing and argued that the client deserved no discipline at all. We showed evidence that the client’s conduct had been appropriate and justified, and that all his obligations to his aggrieved coworker had been met. The judge agreed. The Accusation was dismissed and the client was able to freely continue his career with no discipline at all.
Discipline is not the inevitable result of an Accusation by a state agency. We use our experience at hearing to determine how to achieve the best results for our clients, so that they are not pressured into taking discipline they don’t deserve.