Health and Safety

CHAPTER 23-17.8
Abuse in Health Care Facilities

SECTION 23-17.8-5

§ 23-17.8-5. Non-retaliation or discrimination.

(a) A person who alleges a violation of this chapter may bring a civil action for appropriate injunctive relief, damages, or both within three (3) years after the occurrence of the alleged violation of § 23-17.8-4.

(b) A facility which discharges, discriminates, or retaliates against a person who is about to make a report, makes a report, testifies, or is about to testify in any proceeding shall be liable to the person so discharged, discriminated, or retaliated against, for treble damages, costs, and attorneys' fees. Where a facility discharges, demotes, or retaliates by any other means against a person after he or she has made a report, testified, or was subpoenaed to testify as a result of a report required by this chapter, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the facility discharged, demoted, or retaliated against that person as a result of his or her report or testimony.

(c) Any action commenced pursuant to this section may be brought in the superior court for the county where the alleged violation occurred, the county where the complainant resides, or the county where the person/facility against whom the civil complaint is filed resides or has their principal place of business.

(d) An employee shall show by clear and convincing evidence that he or she or a person acting on his or her behalf was about to report, reported, was about to testify, or testified, verbally or in writing, about a violation of this chapter.

(e) A court, in rendering a judgment in an action brought under § 23-17.8-4 shall order, as the court considers appropriate, reinstatement of the employee, the payment of back wages, full reinstatement of fringe benefits and seniority rights, treble damages, or any combination of these remedies. A court shall also award the complainant the costs of litigation, including attorneys' fees. This section shall not be construed to diminish or impair the rights of a person under any collective bargaining agreement.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1987, ch. 409, § 1; P.L. 1993, ch. 386, § 1.)