When a dietitian in Texas is accused of wrongdoing via a formal complaint, it can put their livelihood at risk. Formal complaints are made against dietitians for any number of reasons—and may lead to the outcome of disciplinary action, and even possibly the loss of license, which brings along with it the loss of both reputation and career.
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) is responsible for admitting dietitians to practice in the state. Its function extends to thirty other professions, for which it acts as a maintainer of quality on behalf of the citizens of Texas.
In practice, this means that TDLR’s purpose is to take the side of the public as against the dietitians it licenses. So when it reviews a formal complaint against a dietitian, it tends to approach the complaint’s accusations against the dietitian with a prosecutorial mindset.
Some of the common complaints lodged with TDLR against dietitians are for such issues as malnutrition alleged to have occurred as a result of taking a dietitian’s professional advice, allergic reactions caused by foods a dietitian has recommended, excessive weight gain or weight loss, other various health problems that recommended foods may have caused, and unprofessional conduct (among which one finds allegations of sexual harassment).
When TDLR receives such a complaint, it does an analysis to determine whether it has jurisdiction over the allegations. Then, if it does, it launches a formal investigation and makes the licensee aware of the complaint and investigation via a letter of notice. This letter requests a response, which goes a long way toward setting the scope of the investigation. Composed poorly, it runs a real risk of giving the Department more information than strictly necessary, which may result in harsher discipline than is possible to obtain, or may result in an expansion of the number of potential wrongs that TDLR may choose to discipline the licensee for.
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Dealing With the (TDLR)
So if a Texas dietitian learns that a complaint has been lodged against them, they should contact BERTOLINO LLP at the earliest possible moment. The response letter that the Department requests in its initial notification of complaint is the first step in a proper defense strategy and is best prepared by someone familiar with the ins and outs of the complaint process. BERTOLINO LLP can help in crafting a response letter and preparing to defend your license. We have experienced license defense attorneys, and we are skilled at assisting professionals in determining the course of action that will be beneficial to their career, depending on the particular situation.
With offices in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio, we serve professional clients all over the state. Contact us today or call (512) 476-5757 and schedule a case evaluation.