Disciplinary sanctions can vary widely according to the rules and laws that govern your professional license. As a result, you can face a range of sanctions if your licensing board finds that you have violated a rule or law. However, in many cases, absent a complete revocation of your professional license, your licensing board will issue an order outlining your sanctions, including various steps that you must complete to keep your license and continue working in your field. 

Compliance with your licensing board’s order can be crucial. Failure to comply with a board’s order alone can be grounds for additional discipline and sanctions. It also can lead to more severe sanctions stemming from the incident(s) that led to your original disciplinary complaint. When facing disciplinary action by your licensing board or agency, you need the legal guidance and advice only a Texas professional license defense attorney can offer. Contact Bertolino LLP today and learn more about how we can assist you in your case. 

General Sanctions that You Can Face as Part of a Licensing Board Order

Every licensing board or agency has different sanctions that they can impose on license holders, which vary in severity depending on the nature of the violation and various other factors. While some of the sanctions are the same, others differ. Therefore, if the licensing board or agency finds that you have violated the rules or laws that govern your profession following a formal investigation, you often will face a board order with specific stipulations to follow. A board order is often an agreed order you reach through settlement negotiations with your licensing board. It also can be through formal disciplinary proceedings in some cases, although that is less typical. 

In most cases, a board order will require you to take specific steps or actions to avoid further adverse consequences, such as a license suspension or revocation. The purpose of a board order is to correct the behaviors or deficits that led to the violations necessitating disciplinary action. If a license holder can complete the actions set out in the board order, the license holder will eventually return to having a license in good standing with no further board involvement. 

Some of the potential board order stipulations might include the following:

  • Required remedial or continuing education courses, often in the area of the board’s concern or related to the license holder’s conduct;
  • Periodic reporting to the board, such as through employer evaluations, professional counseling or therapy notes, or attendance reports at substance abuse treatment programs;
  • Payment of administrative penalties;
  • Completion of a substance abuse assessment, counseling or treatment program, and any follow-up recommendations from that program;
  • Undergoing a medical or psychological examination;
  • Periodic random drug testing;
  • Placement on probation;
  • Required on-site supervision and/or monitoring by a person with specific professional qualifications; and
  • Restriction from handling a specific type of work-related duty or coming into contact with a specific type of person for a set period.

Noncompliance with Board Orders

While you may not agree with all the stipulations in a board order, you may have to comply with your order, especially if you have agreed to it. Likewise, if you have exhausted your appeal rights, your order will stand, and your only option for regaining your license in good standing is to comply with the order as written. It will be impossible to go back now and argue that you shouldn’t have to comply with one or more of the stipulations in your order because you disagree with it. 

Some licensing agencies, such as the Texas Medical Board (TMB), will assign a compliance officer to you while you are subject to a board order. This officer will ensure that you comply with the provisions in your board order and follow the rules. If you fail to comply with the order, this officer can advise the board of your noncompliance and initiate further disciplinary action against you. Noncompliance will result in more severe sanctions against you, such as a suspension or revocation of your license. 

Noncompliance as Independent Grounds for Disciplinary Action

The rules and laws that govern many professionals often provide that noncompliance with a board order is an independent ground for disciplinary action. In other words, you can face disciplinary action simply for failing to comply with a board order, in addition to the sanctions you may face for failing to comply. 

For instance, under 22 Tex. Admin. Code §217.12, licensed nurses engage in unprofessional conduct in the form of “unlawful practice” if they violate an order of the Texas Board of Nursing or aid, allow, advise, or assist another nurse in violating the conditions in a Board order. 

Click to contact our professional license defense lawyers today

Allow Us to Represent Your Interests Before Your Licensing Board

If you face a complaint before your profession’s licensing board, you must act immediately to protect your license and career. As you can see, the sanctions you may receive during disciplinary proceedings can be quite severe. Your situation may worsen if you fail to complete the stipulations in your board order. Your goal is to avoid or minimize these sanctions at all costs and complete any necessary tasks to remain in good standing. You may be able to achieve this goal with the help of an experienced license defense attorney. Contact Bertolino LLP today at (512) 515-9518 or visit us online

Call or text (512) 476-5757 or complete a Case Evaluation form