Education Law

Article 130 General Provisions
Subarticle 3, Professional Misconduct

Effective October 1, 2010

§6509 Definitions of professional misconduct. | §6509-a Additional definition of professional misconduct; limited application. | §6509-b Additional definition of professional misconduct; arrears in payment of support; limited application. | §6509-c Additional definition of professional misconduct; failure to comply in paternity or child support proceedings; limited application. | §6510 Proceedings in cases of professional misconduct. | §6510-b Temporary surrender of licenses during treatment for drug or alcohol abuse. | §6510-c Nurse peer assistance programs. | §6510-d Voluntary non-disciplinary surrender of a license. | §6511 Penalties for professional misconduct.

§6509 Definitions of professional misconduct.

Each of the following is professional misconduct, and any licensee found guilty of such misconduct under the procedures prescribed in section sixty-five hundred ten shall be subject to the penalties prescribed in section sixty-five hundred eleven:

  1. Obtaining the license fraudulently,
  2. Practicing the profession fraudulently, beyond its authorized scope, with gross incompetence, with gross negligence on a particular occasion or negligence or incompetence on more than one occasion,
  3. Practicing the profession while the ability to practice is impaired by alcohol, drugs, physical disability, or mental disability,
  4. Being habitually drunk or being dependent on, or a habitual user of narcotics, barbiturates, amphetamines, hallucinogens, or other drugs having similar effects,
  5.  
    1. Being convicted of committing an act constituting a crime under:
      1. New York State law or,
      2. Federal law or,
      3. The law of another jurisdiction and which, if committed within this state, would have constituted a crime under New York State law;
    2. Having been found guilty of improper professional practice or professional misconduct by a duly authorized professional disciplinary agency of another state where the conduct upon which the finding was based would, if committed in New York state, constitute professional misconduct under the laws of New York state;
    3. Having been found by the commissioner of health to be in violation of article thirty-three of the public health law.
    4. Having his license to practice medicine revoked, suspended or having other disciplinary action taken, or having his application for a license refused, revoked or suspended or having voluntarily or otherwise surrendered his license after a disciplinary action was instituted by a duly authorized professional disciplinary agency of another state, where the conduct resulting in the revocation, suspension or other disciplinary action involving the license or refusal, revocation or suspension of an application for a license or the surrender of the license would, if committed in New York state, constitute professional misconduct under the laws of New York state.
  6. Refusing to provide professional service to a person because of such person's race, creed, color, or national origin,
  7. Permitting, aiding or abetting an unlicensed person to perform activities requiring a license,
  8. Practicing the profession while the license is suspended, or wilfully failing to register or notify the department of any change of name or mailing address, or, if a professional service corporation wilfully failing to comply with sections fifteen hundred three and fifteen hundred fourteen of the business corporation law or, if a university faculty practice corporation wilfully failing to comply with paragraphs (b), (c) and (d) of section fifteen hundred three and section fifteen hundred fourteen of the business corporation law,
  9. Committing unprofessional conduct, as defined by the board of regents in its rules or by the commissioner in regulations approved by the board of regents,
  10. A violation of section twenty-eight hundred three-d or twentyeight hundred five-k of the public health law.
  11. A violation of section six thousand five hundred five-b of this chapter by a professional other than a professional subject to the provisions of paragraph (f) of subdivision one of section twenty-eight hundred five-k of the public health law.
  12. In the event that the department of environmental conservation has reported to the department alleged misconduct by an architect or professional engineer in making a certification under section nineteen of the tax law (relating to the green building tax credit) the board of regents, upon a hearing and a finding of willful misconduct, may revoke the license of such professional or prescribe such other penalty as it determines to be appropriate.

§6509-a Additional definition of professional misconduct; limited application.

Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of this article or of any other provision of law to the contrary, the license or registration of a person subject to the provisions of articles one hundred thirty-two, one hundred thirty-three, one hundred thirty-six, one hundred thirty-seven, one hundred thirty-nine, one hundred forty-one, one hundred forty-three, one hundred forty-four, one hundred fifty-six, one hundred fifty-nine and one hundred sixty-four of this chapter may be revoked, suspended or annulled or such person may be subject to any other penalty provided in section sixty-five hundred eleven of this article in accordance with the provisions and procedure of this article for the following:

That any person subject to the above enumerated articles, has directly or indirectly requested, received or participated in the division, transference, assignment, rebate, splitting or refunding of a fee for, or has directly requested, received or profited by means of a credit or other valuable consideration as a commission, discount or gratuity in connection with the furnishing of professional care, or service, including x-ray examination and treatment, or for or in connection with the sale, rental, supplying or furnishing of clinical laboratory services or supplies, x-ray laboratory services or supplies, inhalation therapy service or equipment, ambulance service, hospital or medical supplies, physiotherapy or other therapeutic service or equipment, artificial limbs, teeth or eyes, orthopedic or surgical appliances or supplies, optical appliances, supplies or equipment, devices for aid of hearing, drugs, medication or medical supplies or any other goods, services or supplies prescribed for medical diagnosis, care or treatment under this chapter, except payment, not to exceed thirty-three and one-third per centum of any fee received for x-ray examination, diagnosis or treatment, to any hospital furnishing facilities for such examination, diagnosis or treatment. Nothing contained in this section shall prohibit such persons from practicing as partners, in groups or as a professional corporation or as a university faculty practice corporation nor from pooling fees and moneys received, either by the partnerships, professional corporations, university faculty practice corporations or groups by the individual members thereof, for professional services furnished by any individual professional member, or employee of such partnership, corporation or group, nor shall the professionals constituting the partnerships, corporations or groups be prohibited from sharing, dividing or apportioning the fees and moneys received by them or by the partnership, corporation or group in accordance with a partnership or other agreement; provided that no such practice as partners, corporations or in groups or pooling of fees or moneys received or shared, division or apportionment of fees shall be permitted with respect to care and treatment under the workers' compensation law except as expressly authorized by the workers' compensation law. Nothing contained in this chapter shall prohibit a medical or dental expense indemnity corporation pursuant to its contract with the subscriber from prorationing a medical or dental expense indemnity allowance among two or more professionals in proportion to the services rendered by each such professional at the request of the subscriber, provided that prior to payment thereof such professionals shall submit both to the medical or dental expense indemnity corporation and to the subscriber statements itemizing the services rendered by each such professional and the charges therefor.


§6509-b Additional definition of professional misconduct; arrears in payment of support; limited application.

  1. The provisions of this section shall apply in all cases of licensee or registrant arrears in payment of child support or combined child and spousal support referred to the board of regents by a court pursuant to the requirements of section two hundred forty-four-c of the domestic relations law or pursuant to section four hundred fifty-eight-b of the family court act.
  2. Upon receipt of an order from the court pursuant to one of the foregoing provisions of law, the board of regents, if it finds such person to be so licensed or registered, shall within thirty days of receipt of such order from the court, provide notice to the licensee or registrant of, and cause the regents review committee to initiate, a hearing which shall be held at least twenty days and no more than thirty days after the sending of such notice to the licensee or registrant. The hearing shall be held solely for the purpose of determining whether there exists as of the date of the hearing proof that full payment of all arrears of support established by the order of the court to be due from the licensee or registrant have been paid. Proof of such payment shall be a certified check showing full payment of established arrears or a notice issued by the court or by the support collection unit where the order is payable to the support collection unit designated by the appropriate social services district. Such notice shall state that full payment of all arrears of support established by the order of the court to be due have been paid. The licensee or registrant shall be given full opportunity to present such proof of payment at the hearing in person or by counsel. The only issue to be determined by the regents review committee as a result of the hearing is whether the arrears have been paid. No evidence with respect to the appropriateness of the court order or ability of the respondent party in arrears to comply with such order shall be received or considered by the committee.
  3. Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of this article or of any other provision of law to the contrary, the license or registration of a person subject to the provisions of this title and/or subject to the provisions of title two-A of article two of the public health law shall be suspended if, at the hearing provided for by subdivision two of this section, the licensee or registrant fails to present proof of payment as required by such subdivision. Such suspension shall not be lifted unless the court or the support collection unit, where the court order is payable to the support collection unit designated by the appropriate social services district, issues notice to the regents review committee that full payment of all arrears of support established by the order of the court to be due have been paid.
  4. The board of regents shall inform the court of all actions taken hereunder as required by law.
  5. This section applies to support obligations paid pursuant to any order of child support or child and spousal support issued under provisions of article three-A or section two hundred thirty-six or two hundred forty of the domestic relations law, or article four, five or five-A of the family court act.
  6. Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of this article or of any other provision of law to the contrary, the provisions of this section shall apply to the exclusion of any other requirements of this article and to the exclusion of any other requirement of law to the contrary.

§6509-c Additional definition of professional misconduct; failure to comply in paternity or child support proceedings; limited application.

  1. The provisions of this section shall apply in all cases of licensee or registrant failure after receiving appropriate notice, to comply with a summons, subpoena or warrant relating to a paternity or child support proceeding referred to the board of regents by a court pursuant to the requirements of section two hundred forty-four-c of the domestic relations law or pursuant to section four hundred fifty-eight-b or five hundred forty-eight-b of the family court act.
  2. Upon receipt of an order from the court pursuant to one of the foregoing provisions of law, the board of regents, if it finds such person to be so licensed or registered, shall within thirty days of receipt of such order from the court, provide notice to the licensee or registrant that his or her license or registration shall be suspended in sixty days unless the conditions as set forth in subdivision three of this section are met.
  3. Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of this article or of any other provision of law to the contrary, the license or registration of a person subject to the provisions of this title and/or subject to the provisions of title two-A of article two of the public health law shall be suspended unless the court terminates its order to commence suspension proceedings. Such suspension shall not be lifted unless the court issues an order to the board of regents terminating its order to commence suspension proceedings.
  4. The board of regents shall inform the court of all actions taken hereunder as required by law.
  5. This section applies to paternity or child support proceedings October 6, 2010nt to any order of child support or child and spousal support issued under provisions of section two hundred thirty-six or two hundred forty of the domestic relations law, or article four, five, five-A or five-B of the family court act.
  6. Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of this article or of any other provision of law to the contrary, the provisions of this section shall apply to the exclusion of any other requirements of this article and to the exclusion of any other requirement of law to the contrary.

§6510 Proceedings in cases of professional misconduct.

In cases of professional misconduct the proceedings shall be as follows:

  1. Preliminary procedures.
    1. Complaint. A complaint of a licensee's professional misconduct may be made by any person to the education department.
    2. Investigation. The department shall investigate each complaint which alleges conduct constituting professional misconduct. The results of the investigation shall be referred to the professional conduct officer designated by the board of regents pursuant to section sixty-five hundred six of this article. If such officer decides that there is not substantial evidence of professional misconduct or that further proceedings are not warranted, no further action shall be taken. If such officer, after consultation with a professional member of the applicable state board for the profession, determines that there is substantial evidence of professional misconduct, and that further proceedings are warranted, such proceedings shall be conducted pursuant to this section. If the complaint involves a question of professional expertise, then such officer may seek, and if so shall obtain, the concurrence of at least two members of a panel of three members of the applicable board. The department shall cause a preliminary review of every report made to the department pursuant to section twenty-eight hundred three-e as added by chapter eight hundred sixty-six of the laws of nineteen hundred eighty and sections forty-four hundred five-b of the public health law and three hundred fifteen of the insurance law, to determine if such report reasonably appears to reflect conduct warranting further investigation pursuant to this subdivision.
    3. Charges. In all disciplinary proceedings other than those terminated by an administrative warning pursuant to paragraph a of subdivision two of this section, the department shall prepare the charges. The charges shall state the alleged professional misconduct and shall state concisely the material facts but not the evidence by which the charges are to be proved.
    4. Records and reports as public information. In all disciplinary proceedings brought pursuant to this section or in any voluntary settlement of a complaint between the licensee and the department, the department shall notify the licensee in writing that the record and reports of such disciplinary proceeding or of such voluntary settlement shall be considered matters of public information unless specifically excepted in this article, or in any other law or applicable rule or regulation.
    5. Service of charges and notice of hearing. In order to commence disciplinary proceedings under this title, service of a copy of the charges and notice of hearing must be completed twenty days before the date of the hearing if by personal delivery, and must be completed twen- ty-five days before the date of the hearing if by any other method.
    6. Service of charges and of notice of hearing upon a natural person. Personal service of the charges and notice of any hearing pursuant to subdivision two or three of this section upon a natural person shall be made by any of the following methods:
      1. by delivery within the state to the person to be served; or
      2. by delivery within the state to a person of suitable age and discretion at the actual place of business, dwelling place or usual place of abode of the person to be served and either: (i) by mailing by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the person to be served at his or her last known residence, or (ii) by mailing by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the person to be served at his or her last address on file with the division of licensing services of the depart- ment in an envelope bearing the legend "personal and confidential," provided that, in either case: such delivery and mailing shall be effected within twenty days of each other; service pursuant to this subparagraph shall be complete ten days after either the delivery, or the mailing, whichever is later; and proof of service shall, among other things, identify such person of suitable age and discretion and state the date, time and place of such service; or
      3. where service under subparagraphs one and two of this paragraph cannot be made with due diligence, a copy of the charges and the notice of hearing shall be served by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the person's last known address on file with the division of licens- ing services of the department or by affixing the changes and the notice of hearing to the door of either the actual place of business, dwelling place or usual place of abode of the person to be served; provided that: service pursuant to this subparagraph shall be complete ten days after such mailing, and proof of service shall set forth the department's efforts of due diligence.
    7. Service of charges and notice of hearing outside of the state. A natural person subject to the jurisdiction of the department may be served with a copy of the charges and the notice of hearing outside of the state in the same manner as service is made within the state, by any person authorized to make service within the state of New York or by any person authorized to make service by the laws of the state, territory, possession or country in which service is made or by any duly qualified attorney or equivalent in such jurisdiction.
  2. Expedited procedures.
    1. Violations. Violations involving professional misconduct of a minor or technical nature may be resolved by expedited procedures as provided in paragraph b or c of this subdivision. For purposes of this subdivision, violations of a minor or technical nature shall include, but shall not be limited to, isolated instances of violations concerning professional advertising or record keeping, and other isolated violations which do not directly affect or impair the public health, welfare or safety. The board of regents shall make recommendations to the legislature on or before June first, nineteen hundred eighty-one, for the further definition of violations of a minor or technical nature. The initial instance of any violation of a minor or technical nature may be resolved by the issuance of an administrative warning pursuant to paragraph b of this subdivision. Subsequent instances of similar violations of a minor or technical nature within a period of three years may be resolved by the procedure set forth in paragraph c of this subdivision.
    2. Administrative warning. If a professional conduct officer, after consultation with a professional member of the state board, determines that there is substantial evidence of professional misconduct but that it is an initial violation of a minor or technical nature which would not justify the imposition of a more severe disciplinary penalty, the matter may be terminated by the issuance of an administrative warning. Such warnings shall be confidential and shall not constitute an adjudication of guilt or be used as evidence that the licensee is guilty of the alleged misconduct. However, in the event of a further allegation of similar misconduct by the same licensee, the matter may be reopened and further proceedings instituted as provided in this section.
    3. Determination of penalty on uncontested minor violations. If a professional conduct officer, after consultation with a professional member of the state board, determines that there is substantial evidence of a violation of a minor or technical nature, and of a nature justifying a penalty as specified in this paragraph, the department may prepare and serve charges either by personal service or by certified mail, return receipt requested. Such charges shall include a statement that unless an answer is received within twenty days denying the charges, the matter shall be referred to a violations committee consisting of at least three members of the state board for the profession, at least one of whom shall be a public representative for determination. The violations panel shall be appointed by the executive secretary of the state board. The licensee shall be given at least fifteen days notice of the time and place of the meeting of the violations committee and shall have the right to appear in person and by an attorney and to make a statement to the committee in mitigation or explanation of the misconduct. The department may appear and make a statement in support of its position. The violations committee may issue a censure and reprimand, and in addition, or in the alternative, may impose a fine not to exceed five hundred dollars for each specification of minor, or technical misconduct. If the fine is not paid within three months the matter may be reopened and shall be subject to the hearing and regents decision procedures of this section. The determination of the panel shall be final and shall not be subject to the regents decision procedures of this section. If an answer is filed denying the charges, the matter shall be processed as provided in subdivision three of this section.
    4. Convictions of crimes or administrative violations. In cases of professional misconduct based solely upon a violation of subdivision five of section sixty-five hundred nine of this article, the professional conduct officer may prepare and serve the charges and may refer the matter directly to a regents review committee for its review and report of its findings, determination as to guilt, and recommendation as to the measure of discipline to be imposed. In such cases the notice of hearing shall state that the licensee may file a written answer, brief and affidavits; that the licensee may appear personally before the regents review committee, may be represented by counsel and may present evidence or sworn testimony on behalf of the licensee, and the notice may contain such other information as may be considered appropriate by the department. The department may also present evidence or sworn testimony at the hearing. A stenographic record of the hearing shall be made. Such evidence or sworn testimony offered at the meeting of the regents review committee shall be limited to evidence and testimony relating to the nature and severity of the penalty to be imposed upon the licensee. The presiding officer at the meeting of the regents review committee may, in his or her discretion, reasonably limit the number of witnesses whose testimony will be received and the length of time any witness will be permitted to testify. In lieu of referring the matter to the board of regents, the regents review committee may refer any such matter for further proceedings pursuant to paragraph b or c of this subdivision or subdivision three of this section.
  3. Adversary proceedings. Contested disciplinary proceedings and other disciplinary proceedings not resolved pursuant to subdivision two of this section shall be tried before a hearing panel of the appropriate state board as provided in this subdivision.
    1. Notice of hearing. The department shall set the time and place of the hearing and shall prepare the notice of hearing. The notice of hearing shall state (1) the time and place of the hearing, (2) that the licensee may file a written answer to the charges prior to the hearing, (3) that the licensee may appear personally at the hearing and may be represented by counsel, (4) that the licensee shall have the right to produce witnesses and evidence in his behalf, to cross-examine witnesses and examine evidence produced against him, and to issue subpoenas in accordance with the provisions of the civil practice law and rules, (5) that a stenographic record of the hearing will be made, and (6) such other information as may be considered appropriate by the department.
    2. Hearing panel. The hearing shall be conducted by a panel of three or more members, at least two of whom shall be members of the applicable state board for the profession, and at least one of whom shall be a public representative who is a member of the applicable state board or of the state board for another profession licensed pursuant to this title. The executive secretary for the applicable state board shall appoint the panel and shall designate its chairperson. After the commencement of a hearing, no panel member shall be replaced. A determination by the administrative officer of a need to disqualify or remove any panel member will result in the disqualification or removal of the panel and cause a new panel to be appointed. In addition to said panel members, the department shall designate an administrative officer, admitted to practice as an attorney in the state of New York, who shall have the authority to rule on all motions, procedures and other legal objections and shall draft a report for the hearing panel which shall be subject to the approval of and signature by the panel chairperson on behalf of the panel. The administrative officer shall not be entitled to a vote.
    3. Conduct of hearing. The evidence in support of the charges shall be presented by an attorney for the department. The licensee shall have the rights required to be stated in the notice of hearing. The panel shall not be bound by the rules of evidence, but its determination of guilt shall be based on a preponderance of the evidence. A hearing which has been initiated shall not be discontinued because of the death or incapacity to serve of one member of the hearing panel.
    4. Results of hearing. The hearing panel shall render a written report which shall include (1) findings of fact, (2) a determination of guilty or not guilty on each charge, and (3) in the event of a determination of guilty, a recommendation of the penalty to be imposed. For the panel to make a determination of guilty, a minimum of two of the voting members of the panel must vote for such a determination. A copy of the report of the hearing panel shall be transmitted to the licensee.
  4. Regents decision procedures.
    1. Regents review committee. The transcript and report of the hearing panel shall be reviewed at a meeting by a regents review committee appointed by the board of regents. The regents review committee shall consist of three members, at least one of whom shall be a regent.
    2. Regents review committee meetings. The review shall be based on the transcript and the report of the hearing panel. The licensee may appear at the meeting, and the regents review committee may require the licensee to appear. The licensee may be represented by counsel. The department shall notify the licensee at least seven days before the meeting (1) of the time and place of the meeting, (2) of his right to appear, (3) of his right to be represented by counsel, (4) whether or not he is required to appear, and (5) of such other information as may be considered appropriate. After the meeting, the regents review committee shall transmit a written report of its review to the board of regents. In cases referred directly to the regents review committee pursuant to paragraph d of subdivision two of this section, the review shall be based upon the charges, the documentary evidence submitted by the department, any answer, affidavits or brief the licensee may wish to submit, and any evidence or sworn testimony presented by the licensee or the department at the hearing, pursuant to the procedures described by paragraph d of subdivision two of this section.
    3. Regents decision and order. The board of regents (1) shall consider the transcript, the report of the hearing panel, and the report of the regents review committee, (2) shall decide whether the licensee is guilty or not guilty on each charge, (3) shall decide what penalties, if any, to impose as prescribed in section sixty-five hundred eleven of this article, and (4) shall issue an order to carry out its decisions. Such decisions shall require the affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the board of regents. If the board of regents disagrees with the hearing panel's determination of not guilty, it shall remand the matter to the original panel for reconsideration or to a new panel for a new hearing. The panel's determination of not guilty on reconsideration or a new hearing shall be final. The order shall be served upon the licensee personally or by certified mail to the licensee's last known address and such service shall be effective as of the date of the personal service or five days after mailing by certified mail. The licensee shall deliver to the department the license and registration certificate which has been revoked, annulled, suspended, or surrendered within five days after the effective date of the service of the order. If the license or registration certificate is lost, misplaced or its whereabouts is otherwise unknown, the licensee shall submit an affidavit to that effect, and shall deliver such license or certificate to the department when located.
  5. Court review procedures. The decisions of the board of regents may be reviewed pursuant to the proceedings under article seventy-eight of the civil practice law and rules. Such proceedings shall be returnable before the appellate division of the third judicial department, and such decisions shall not be stayed or enjoined except upon application to such appellate division after notice to the department and to the attorney general and upon a showing that the petitioner has a substantial likelihood of success.
  6. The provisions of subdivisions one through four of this section shall not be applicable to proceedings in cases of professional misconduct involving the medical profession, except as provided in paragraph m of subdivision ten of section two hundred thirty of the public health law.
  7. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, persons who assist the department as consultants or expert witnesses in the investigation or prosecution of alleged professional misconduct, licensure matters, restoration proceedings, or criminal prosecutions for unauthorized practice, shall not be liable for damages in any civil action or proceeding as a result of such assistance, except upon proof of actual malice. The attorney general shall defend such persons in any such action or proceeding, in accordance with section seventeen of the public officers law.
  8. The files of the department relating to the investigation of possible instances of professional misconduct, or the unlawful practice of any profession licensed by the board of regents, or the unlawful use of a professional title or the moral fitness of an applicant for a professional license or permit, shall be confidential and not subject to disclosure at the request of any person, except upon the order of a court in a pending action or proceeding. The provisions of this subdivision shall not apply to documents introduced in evidence at a hearing held pursuant to this chapter and shall not prevent the department from sharing information concerning investigations with other duly authorized public agencies responsible for professional regulation or criminal prosecution.
  9. A disciplinary proceeding under subdivision three or four of this section shall be treated in the same manner as an action or proceeding in supreme court for the purpose of any claim by counsel of actual engagement.

§6510-b Temporary surrender of licenses during treatment for drug or alcohol abuse.

  1. The license and registration of a licensee who may be temporarily incapacitated for the active practice of a profession licensed pursuant to title eight of this chapter, except professionals licensed pursuant to article one hundred thirty-one or article one hundred thirty-one-b thereof, and whose alleged incapacity is the result of a problem of drug or alcohol abuse which has not resulted in harm to a patient or client, may be voluntarily surrendered to the department, which may accept and hold such license during the period of such alleged incapacity or the department may accept the surrender of such license after agreement to conditions to be met prior to the restoration of the license. The department shall give written notification of such surrender to the licensing authorities of any other state or country in which the licensee is authorized to practice. In addition to the foregoing, the department shall also give written notification of such surrender, for professionals licensed pursuant to articles one hundred thirty-two, one hundred thirty-three, one hundred thirty-five, one hundred thirty-seven, one hundred thirty-nine and one hundred forty-one of this chapter to the commissioner of health or his designee, and where appropriate to each hospital at which the professional has privileges, is affiliated, or is employed. The licensee whose license is so surrendered shall notify all persons who request professional services that he or she has temporarily withdrawn from the practice of the profession. The department may provide for similar notification of patients or clients and of other interested parties, as appropriate under the circumstances of the professional practice and responsibilities of the licensee. The licensure status of such licensee shall be "inactive" and he or she shall not be authorized to practice the profession and shall refrain from practice in this state or in any other state or country. The voluntary surrender shall not be deemed to be an admission of disability or of professional misconduct, and shall not be used as evidence of a violation of subdivision three or four of section sixty-five hundred nine of this chapter, unless the licensee practices while the license is "inactive"; and any such practice shall constitute a violation of subdivision eight of said section. The surrender of a license under this subdivision shall not bar any disciplinary action except action based solely upon the provisions of subdivision three or four of section sixty-five hundred nine of this chapter, and only if no harm to a patient has resulted; and shall not bar any civil or criminal action or proceeding which might be brought without regard to such surrender. A surrendered license shall be restored upon a showing to the satisfaction of the department that the licensee is not incapacitated for the active practice of the profession, provided that the department may, by order of the commissioner, impose reasonable conditions on the licensee, if it determines that because of the nature and extent of the licensee's former incapacity, such conditions are necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public. Prompt written notification of such restoration shall be given to all licensing bodies which were notified of the temporary surrender of the license.
  2. There shall be appointed within the department, by the board of regents, a committee on drug and alcohol abuse, which shall advise the board of regents on matters relating to practice by professional licensees with drug or alcohol abuse problems, and which shall administer the provisions of this section. The board of regents shall determine the size, composition, and terms of office of such committee, a majority of the members of which shall be persons with expertise in problems of drug or alcohol abuse. The committee shall recommend to the board of regents such rules as are necessary to carry out the purposes of this section, including but not limited to procedures for the submission of applications for the surrender of a license and for the referral of cases for investigation or prosecution pursuant to section sixty-five hundred ten of this article if a licensee fails to comply with the conditions of an approved program of treatment. There shall be an executive secretary appointed by the board of regents to assist the committee. The executive secretary shall employ, or otherwise retain, the services of a registered professional nurse with appropriate qualifications in substance abuse and addiction to assist in the implementation of the program authorized by section six thousand five hundred ten-c of this article. Determinations by the committee relating to licensees shall be made by panels of at least three members of the committee designated by the executive secretary, who shall also designate a member of the state board for the licensee's profession as the ex-officio non voting member of each panel. In the case of a determination relating to a licensed nurse, at least one panel member must be a registered professional nurse licensed by the state.
  3. Application for the surrender of a license pursuant to this section shall be submitted to the committee, and shall identify a proposed treatment or rehabilitation program, and shall include a consent to the release of all information concerning the licensee's treatment to the committee. All information concerning an application, other than the fact of the surrender of the license and the participation in the program and the successful completion or failure of or withdrawal from the program, shall be strictly confidential, and may not be released by the committee to any person or body without the consent of the licensee. The immunity from disciplinary action conferred by this section shall be conditioned upon the approval of the treatment or rehabilitation program by the committee and its successful completion by the applicant and the elimination of the incapacity to practice. Approval of a treatment or rehabilitation program by the committee shall not constitute a representation as to the probability of success of the program or any assumption of financial responsibility for its costs.
  4. The immunity from disciplinary action conferred by this section may be revoked by the committee upon a finding that the licensee has failed to successfully complete the program or that the incapacity to practice has not been eliminated. Such revocation shall be made only after notice and an opportunity to be heard, but no adjudicatory hearing shall be required. The matter shall be referred for appropriate proceedings pursuant to section sixty-five hundred ten of this chapter. The license must be returned unless charges are served pursuant to section sixty-five hundred ten within thirty days after the revocation of the approval of the special treatment afforded by this section.
  5. The commissioner is authorized to adopt regulations to carry out the purposes of this section, including but not limited to the notice of temporary inactive status to be required in different professions and practice situations and the measures required upon temporary withdrawal from practice.
  6. No individual who serves as a member of a committee whose purpose is to confront and refer either to treatment or to the department licensees who are thought to be suffering from alcoholism or drug abuse shall be liable for damages to any person for any action taken by such individual provided such action was taken without malice and within the scope of such individual's function as a member of such committee, and provided further that such committee has been established by and functions under the auspices of an association or society of professionals authorized to practice under this title.
  7. In addition to the provisions of section two thousand eight hundred three-e of the public health law, any entity licensed pursuant to articles thirty-six, forty and forty-four of the public health law, and any mental hygiene facilities, and correctional, occupational, school and college health services shall provide a report to the office of professional discipline when there is a suspension, restriction, termination, curtailment or resignation of employment or privileges in any way related to a licensed nurse that is impaired when the impairment is alleged to have been caused by a drug-related problem. Any person, facility, or corporation which makes a report pursuant to this section in good faith shall have immunity from any liability, civil or criminal, for having made such a report except where the conduct constitutes negligence, gross negligence or intentional misconduct. For the purpose of any proceeding, civil or criminal, the good faith of any person, facility or corporation required to make a report shall be presumed. Such presumption may be rebutted by any competent evidence.
  8. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the license and registration of a licensed dentist or pharmacist who may be temporarily incapacitated for the active practice of their profession licensed pursuant to articles one hundred thirty-three and one hundred thirty-seven of this title and whose alleged incapacity is the result of a problem of drug or alcohol abuse which has not resulted in harm to a patient or client, may be voluntarily surrendered to, or voluntarily offered for any alternative disposition with the department, which may accept and hold such license or make any other disposition regarding such license deemed appropriate under the circumstances, if the department determines the health and safety of the public will be adequately protected thereby, during the period of such alleged incapacity. The department may accept the surrender of such license after agreement to conditions to be met prior to the restoration of the license or the department may treat the license as not surrendered and may impose conditions to allow the licensee to retain the license. All other provisions of this section shall be applied to the professions of dentistry and pharmacy in conformity with this subdivision.

§6510-c Nurse peer assistance programs.

  1. As used in this section:
    1. "Drug-related problem" means a problem or problems that are related to the use, misuse or addiction to drugs or alcohol.
    2. "Participant" means an individual licensed pursuant to article one hundred thirty-nine of this title who has or may have a drug-related problem.
    3. "Approved nurse peer assistance program" means a program operated by the New York State Nurses Association or a statewide professional association of nurses which has experience in providing peer assistance services to nurses who have drug-related problems which are designed to help a participant or a licensee's employer and has been approved by the department in accordance with criteria established in regulations of the commissioner.
    4. "Peer assistance services" includes assessing the needs of a participant, including early identification of drug-related problems, and providing information, support, and advice as requested by a participant.
  2.  
    1. The department shall provide funds, including but not limited to a portion of the funds made available pursuant to the provisions of this section, for services provided by an approved nurse peer assistance program. Funds used to provide services shall not be used for the treatment of participants. Funded services shall include, but not be limited to:
      1. providing peer assistance services for nurses with drug-related problems;
      2. maintaining a toll-free telephone information line for anonymous nurses, their employers, and others to provide assistance in the identification of services and information for nurses dealing with drug-related problems;
      3. training monitors for the professional assistance program;
      4. arranging for mental health consultants to assess nurses for the professional assistance program, as needed; and
      5. preparing written assessments of nurses who have been referred from the professional assistance program.
    2. An additional fee of fifteen dollars shall be paid at the time of application for licensure and first registration and every registration by those licensed pursuant to article one hundred thirty-nine of this title for the purpose of implementing this program. The funds made available under this provision shall be deposited in the office of professions special revenue account for its purposes in implementing this section. The department may use a portion of this amount for its administrative expenses incurred in implementing this program including, but not limited to, employment of personnel, the costs of approving and contracting with a peer assistance program as required by this section and outreach activities to promote this program.
  3. No approved nurse peer assistance program or individual who serves in an approved nurse peer assistance program shall be liable in damages to any person for any action taken or not taken or recommendations made unless, based on the facts disclosed by a participant, the conduct of the program or person with respect to the person asserting liability constituted negligence, gross negligence, or intentional misconduct.
  4. All information concerning a participant gathered by the approved nurse peer assistance program shall be strictly confidential and may not be released to any person or body without the consent of the participant, except upon the order of a court in a pending action or proceeding. Aggregate data may be released to the committee on drug and alcohol abuse.

§6510-d Voluntary non-disciplinary surrender of a license.

A professional who is licensed pursuant to article one hundred thirty-nine of this title may voluntarily surrender a license to the committee on drug and alcohol abuse when such licensee requests to be monitored and/or receive peer support services in relation to the use, misuse or addiction to drugs. The committee shall accept such voluntary non-disciplinary surrender of a license and provide for expedited reinstatement of the license if the licensee meets criteria set by the committee. Such criteria will include, but not be limited to, confidence that the licensee's use of drugs and/or alcohol has not resulted in harm to a patient or client and the licensee is not incapacitated, unfit for practice or a threat to the health, safety and welfare of the public. Such voluntary surrender, if accepted by the committee, shall result in an immediate reinstatement of the license and shall provide immunity from a violation of subdivision three or four of section six thousand five hundred nine of this article and cannot be deemed an admission or used as evidence in professional misconduct. Acceptance by the committee shall not require a report to the department of health or to any employer or licensing authority of another jurisdiction, nor require any disclosure to patients or to the public that such license has been temporarily surrendered, except if it is subsequently determined by the department that a participant being monitored by the department is found to have used drugs and/or alcohol which has resulted in harm to a patient or client.


§6511 Penalties for professional misconduct.

The penalties which may be imposed by the board of regents on a present or former licensee found guilty of professional misconduct (under the definitions and proceedings prescribed in sections sixty-five hundred nine and sixty-five hundred ten of this article) are: (1) censure and reprimand, (2) suspension of license, (a) wholly, for a fixed period of time; (b) partially, until the licensee successfully completes a course of retraining in the area to which the suspension applies; (c) wholly, until the licensee successfully completes a course of therapy or treatment prescribed by the regents; (3) revocation of license, (4) annulment of license or registration, (5) limitation on registration or issuance of any further license, (6) a fine not to exceed ten thousand dollars, upon each specification of charges of which the respondent is determined to be guilty, (7) a requirement that a licensee pursue a course of education or training, and (8) a requirement that a licensee perform up to one hundred hours of public service, in a manner and at a time and place as directed by the board. The board of regents may stay such penalties in whole or in part, may place the licensee on probation and may restore a license which has been revoked, provided, in the case of licensees subject to section two hundred thirty of the public health law, notice that the board is considering such restoration is given to the office of professional medical conduct at least thirty days before the date on which such restoration shall be considered. Upon the recommendation of the office of professional medical conduct, the board of regents may deny such restoration. Any fine imposed pursuant to this section or pursuant to subdivision two of section sixty-five hundred ten of this article may be sued for and recovered in the name of the people of the state of New York in an action brought by the attorney general. In such action the findings and determination of the board of regents or of the violations committee shall be admissible evidence and shall be conclusive proof of the violation and the penalty assessed.

Last Updated: October 6, 2010