Sometimes professionals forget just how much the rules and regulations which are put in place by their licensing boards, agencies, and commissions can control the non-professional portions of their lives. The jurisdiction these regulatory bodies enjoy is often relatively complete. As a professional, the concept is that individuals live their careers at every level of their being—and therefore, the way a person behaves outside the workplace reflects upon their fitness to engage in their licensed profession. This is why, in some cases, off-duty behavior can result in suspension (and even revocation) of a professional's license.
The scope of the control over such off-duty behaviors naturally depends upon the type of profession and form of licensure. It's generally based on the fact that these regulatory boards exist not to advocate for professionals but to protect an otherwise undiscerning public from professional misbehavior. The higher the duty of care inherent to a profession, the more likely is a professional caught acting in a fashion that calls into question their dedication to that duty—even if the behavior occurs outside the workplace—to find they are subject to discipline. Those in the fields of law, accounting, medicine (and veterinary medicine), education, and other areas in which the welfare of those they take care of depends on the full-hearted embrace of certain duties and standards by practitioners, are particularly subject to such broad regulatory authority.
By way of a single example, nurses sometimes experience a rude wake-up call when they have believed, incorrectly, that the Texas Board of Nursing only concerns itself with their performance at work. But it is actually quite common for the Board to take action against nurses for behavior outside of a professional setting that it considers unprofessional—including actions that it considers to show poor morals or to breach the bounds of good behavior.
Contact a Texas professional license defense attorney
If a Texas professional finds that a complaint has been lodged against them for behavior that falls outside of the workplace, they should contact an experienced professional license defense attorney at the earliest possible moment. The response letter that Boards usually request in their 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. If you need such assistance crafting a response letter and preparing your defense of your license, BERTOLINO LLP can help. We are 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 medical professional clients all over the state. Contact us today or call (512) 717-5432 and schedule a case evaluation.