Sec. 3999.231 - Health Care Staff Complaints

ยง 3999.231. Health Care Staff Complaints

(a) Health care grievances determined to be health care staff complaints after receiving a clinical triage shall be processed pursuant to Subchapter 2, Article 5, and not as a citizen's complaint.

(b) The HCGO shall present health care grievances alleging health care staff misconduct to the reviewing authority within five business days of receipt. The reviewing authority shall review the complaint and determine if:

(1) The allegation will be addressed as a health care grievance or as a health care staff complaint.

(2) The allegation will be processed as a health care staff complaint but does not warrant referral for an allegation inquiry or investigation, or the request for an investigation has been declined, in which case a confidential inquiry report shall be completed pursuant to section 3999.231(f).

(3) The allegation will be processed as a health care staff complaint and warrants referral to the applicable authority for an allegation inquiry or investigation.

(c) A health care staff complaint alleging excessive or inappropriate use of force shall be addressed pursuant to the procedures described in sections 3268 through 3268.2.

(d) A health care staff complaint alleging staff sexual misconduct shall be processed pursuant to the procedures described in section 3084.9.

(e) If the health care staff complaint alleges health care or other issues unrelated to the allegation of health care staff misconduct, the HCGO shall notify the grievant that those unrelated issues shall be grieved separately and within 30 calendar days plus five calendar days for mailing from the date noted on the written notification.

(f) Confidential Inquiry Report. Health care staff with supervisory authority over the subject of the health care staff complaint shall:

(1) Conduct an inquiry to determine if health care staff behavior or activity violated a law, regulation, policy, or procedure, or was contrary to an ethical or professional standard, even if the grievant has paroled, discharged, or is deceased.

(2) Interview the following to reach a determination concerning the allegation(s):

(A) The grievant.

(B) All necessary witnesses.

(C) The subject of the health care staff complaint, unless no longer employed by CDCR or on a leave of absence.

1. The subject of the health care staff complaint will be given notice of the interview at least 24 hours prior to the interview. If the subject chooses to waive the 24-hour requirement, he or she must indicate this at the time they are given notice. If waived, the subject may be interviewed immediately.

(3) Prepare a confidential inquiry report and include evidence to support a determination of the findings concerning the allegation(s).

(4) The HCGO shall maintain the original and any redacted versions of the confidential inquiry report.

(A) The confidential inquiry report shall not be released to inmates under any circumstances.

(B) The subject of the health care staff complaint is entitled to know whether or not he or she violated policy and may view the confidential inquiry report in the HCGO under the following conditions:

1. With approval from the institutional litigation coordinator.

2. With redaction of other staffs' information including, but not limited to, identity, interview content, potential discipline, or inquiry findings.

(C) Requests for release of a confidential inquiry report relating to litigation shall be forwarded to the headquarters' health care Litigation Coordinator for review and approval to release.

(g) The institutional level response to a health care staff complaint shall inform the grievant of either:

(1) The decision to conduct a confidential inquiry and the outcome.

(2) The decision to refer the matter to the applicable investigating authority.

(h) Time limits for processing health care staff complaints shall be completed and returned to the grievant pursuant to sections 3999.228(i) or 3999.230(f).

(i) Institutional level health care staff complaint responses shall be approved and signed pursuant to section 3999.225(x).

(j) The headquarters' level is for administrative review of the institutional level response of a health care staff complaint for which the grievant is dissatisfied with the institutional level disposition or if the grievant alleges headquarters' health care staff misconduct.

(k) Headquarters' level health care staff complaint responses shall be approved and signed pursuant to section 3999.225(x).

(1. Change without regulatory effect renumbering and amending former section 3087.6 to new section 3999.231 filed 8-6-2018 pursuant to section 100, title 1, California Code of Regulations (Register 2018, No. 32). 2. Change without regulatory effect amending Note filed 4-15-2019 pursuant to section 100, title 1, California Code of Regulations (Register 2019, No. 16).)

Note: Authority cited: Section 5058, Penal Code. Reference: Section 5054, Penal Code; Americans With Disabilities Act, Public Law 101-336, July 26, 1990, 104 Stat. 328; Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, Title 42 U.S.C. Section 1997 et seq., Public Law 96-247, 94 Stat. 349; Section 35.107, Title 28, Code of Federal Regulations; Section 1013(a), California Code of Civil Procedure; Armstrong v. Newsom (No. C-94-2307-CW), U.S. District Court, Northern District of California; Coleman v. Newsom (No. S 90-0520 LKK JFM P) U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California; and Plata v. Newsom (No. C01-1351 JST), U.S. District Court, Northern District of California.

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