As a registered dietitian (RD) or a licensed dietitian-nutritionist (LDN), you've put a lot of time, effort, and money into building your career. You've sought out extensive training, you've likely received certification from a national licensing body, and you may have had to go through state licensing as well.
You've already invested a lot into your career before you even earned your first paycheck as an RD or LDN. Your professional license is the key to it all.
Your entire career, and with it your livelihood, could be derailed by a simple allegation of wrongdoing that can put your license at risk. Even a completely unfounded complaint filed against you can put your license, and your career, in jeopardy.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm are experienced in helping people all across the country who are at risk of losing their licenses. Call the Lento Law Firm team at (888) 535-3686 as soon as you get notice of a complaint being filed against you to give them the most amount of time to build a powerful defense to protect your license.
What Offenses Could Cost Me my My Dietitian or Nutritionist License?
Being a licensed dietitian or nutritionist is considered a matter of public trust since your patients rely on you to help them maintain their health and well-being. Offenses considered a violation of that trust are likely to jeopardize your professional license. Violating policies or procedures established by the licensing body will also put your license at risk.
Substance misuse or addiction can quickly put your license in jeopardy. If you are observed practicing under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or if it becomes known that you have a substance use disorder, it could cost you your license.
Sexual misconduct is a broad category that might include unethical sexual advances toward clients, employees, or colleagues, as well as sexual harassment or abuse. This category of offenses will be taken very seriously by your licensing body.
Being convicted of a crime will disqualify you from holding a license in many states. Felony convictions or crimes of moral turpitude are taken particularly seriously.
Gross incompetence or negligence could include recommendations that cause actual harm to a patient and will likely result in a formal complaint before your licensing body.
Who Investigates License Violations?
The process for regulating the licensing of nutritionists and dietitians varies from state to state, and Attorney Joseph Lento handles professional license defense cases in all 50 states. Your license may be part of other medical licensing boards, but it could also be handled through a Division of Consumer Affairs or even an Office of Professions. Regardless of the regulatory body that can legally act against your professional license, the process and procedures tend to be pretty similar.
Most disciplinary proceedings will begin with a formal complaint filed with the licensing body. It could be initiated by a coworker, client, or some other person familiar with your work. This will launch an investigation by the licensing body to determine if the allegations are even credible. The investigation will require a response from you in writing and may involve interviews with relevant witnesses or others familiar with the case. It could also subpoena documents that could help determine the merits of the complaint.
If the evidence uncovered during the investigation is strong enough, the licensing body may offer to negotiate a consent order with you as an alternative to a formal hearing. A consent decree is essentially an admission of wrongdoing on your part and a legally binding agreement to abide by the body's recommendation for discipline. Since this is a drastic step, it is highly recommended that you consult with experienced professional license defense attorney Joseph D. Lento before signing a consent order.
If a consent order isn't offered, or if you choose not to sign it, the matter will move to a formal hearing. The hearing may be held in front of the licensing body or an Administrative Law Judge, depending on your state's rules. As this is a formal hearing, you will have the opportunity to have your legal representation with you to help with your defense.
At the conclusion of the hearing, the body will decide whether to impose any disciplinary action and what that action may be. There are several options available to them up to fully revoking your license.
What Are the Possible Disciplinary Actions?
Revocation is the worst-case scenario, but there are other possible disciplinary actions that the licensing body could impose. The actions include:
- License suspension. You might be temporarily prohibited from practice for a time period, after which a review for possible reinstatement will occur.
- License restriction. You may be allowed to keep your license and to continue to practice with certain restrictions of practices based on your offenses.
- Fines. The board can choose to impose a monetary penalty.
- Mandatory continuing education. If the situation applies, the board may require you to receive continuing education as a condition for keeping your license.
- Reprimand. The board may censure you by issuing a private or public warning.
Why Should I Hire Professional License Defense Attorney Joseph Lento?
You can always represent yourself to the board without an attorney, you have that right, but you are less likely to get a favorable outcome if you do. Hiring the Lento Law Firm team immediately improves your prospects of keeping your license intact.
Also, the licensing body doesn't have the same burden of proof that a court trial would have. This puts you at an immediate disadvantage, so your chance will improve if you have Attorney Lento to defend your interests skillfully.
The Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team has the experience and track record to put together the strongest defense of your license, no matter which state you practice in. Contact Attorney Joseph D. Lento online or at (888) 535-3686 as soon as you are made aware of a complaint against you to help us get the best outcome possible for you.