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“(5) PENALTY FOR FAILURE TO COLLECT AND REPORT QUALITY DATA ON NURSING SERVICES.—“(A) IN GENERAL.—In the case of a participating hospital that fails tocomply with requirements under subsection (e)(2) to collect, aggregate, maintain, and report quality data relating to nursing services furnished by the hospital, instead of the remedies described in paragraph (3), the provisions of subparagraph (B) shall apply with respect to each such failure of the participating hospital.“(B) PENALTY.—In the case of a failure by a participating hospital to comply with the requirements under subsection (e)(2) for a year, each suchfailure shall be deemed to be a failure to submit data required under section 1833(t)(17)(A), section 1886(b)(3)(B)(viii), section 1886(j)(7)(A), or section 1886(m)(5)(A), as the case may be, with respect to the participating hospital involved for that year.“(h) WHISTLEBLOWERPROTECTIONS.—“(1) PROHIBITION OF DISCRIMINATION AND RETALIATION.—A participating hospital shall not discriminate or retaliate in any manner against
REGISTERED NURSE SAFE STAFFING ACT27any patient or employee of the hospital because that patient or employee, or any other person, has presented a grievance or complaint, or has initiated or cooperated in any investigation or proceeding of any kind, relating to—“(A) the hospital-wide staffing plan for nursing services developed and implemented under this section; or“(B) any right, other requirement or prohibition under this section, including a refusal to accept an assignment described in subsection (f).“(2) RELIEF FOR PREVAILING EMPLOYEES.—An employee of a participating hospital who has been discriminated or retaliated against in employment in violation of this subsection may initiate judicial action in a United States district court and shall be entitled to reinstatement, reimbursement for lost wages, and work benefits caused by the unlawful acts of the employing hospital. Prevailing employees are entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees and costs associated with pursuing the case.“(3) RELIEF FOR PREVAILING PATIENTS.—A patient who has been discriminated or retaliated against in violation of this subsection may initiate judicial action in a United States district court. A prevailing patient shall be entitled to liquidated damages of $5,000 for a violation of this statute in addition to any other damages under other applicable statutes, regulations, or common law. Prevailing patients are entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees and costs associated with pursuing the case.“(4) LIMITATION ON ACTIONS.—No action may be brought under paragraph (2) or (3) more than 2 years after the discrimination or retaliation with respect to which the action is brought.“(5) TREATMENT OF ADVERSE EMPLOYMENT ACTIONS.—For purposes of this subsection—“(A) an adverse employment action shall be treated as discrimination or retaliation; and“(B) the term ‘adverse employment action’ includes—“(i) the failure to promote an individual or provide any other employment-related benefit for which the individual would otherwise be eligible;