Individuals who work in specific positions of employment in California need to obtain a license to practice from the state. A professional and occupational license is required for approximately 200 occupations in California, including cosmetologists, barbers, security personnel, contractors, teachers, doctors, lawyers, and nurses. Multiple licensing bodies, bureaus, and departments (nearly 40 altogether, each one of them for a different sector) issue and oversee professional licenses, all under the supervision of the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) in California.
To qualify for a professional license, you must often provide fingerprints, pay registration fees, and demonstrate that you satisfy specific educational or expertise requirements dictated by the licensing authority to which you are applying. It's not easy to become a licensed practitioner in your field, but getting your application rejected early in the application process for a professional license is often an obstacle that no one anticipates.
Some of the reasons may come as a shock to some. The denial procedure, which is identical to that of other organizations, involves a comprehensive explanation of how the conclusion was reached. During the appeals process, the California Licensing Board will generally provide a Statement of Issues, that explains the grounds for denial. The following are some reasons why your professional license can be denied in California:
A Felony Conviction
A conviction in California might have serious consequences for your professional prospects. A felony or misdemeanor conviction could affect your eligibility to practice, regardless of whether you're pursuing a license from a California professional licensing board or currently have one.
Conventionally, California law has maintained that any conviction has to be "substantially linked" to the practice of the occupation for consideration to merit disciplinary measures. Although each licensing board has its interpretation of substantial links, the laws have evolved to the point that many convictions could be regarded as relevant to the profession since they indicate competence, integrity, and judgment, among other factors.
Driving under the influence and other drug-related offenses are generally regarded as significantly connected in the healthcare industry. Holding a felony or misdemeanor conviction on your record could lead to several consequences from authorities that govern healthcare or entities that govern more typical business licensing:
Your responsibility is to notify the licensing board about the conviction. This could include the following:
Disclosing the conviction when applying for your professional license
Disclosure when a license is renewed, or
In certain cases, you get an affirmative legal obligation to notify the board of the conviction before a specified deadline
To establish what affirmative obligations you owe to disclosing your conviction, you should contact an attorney. If you are faced with the prospect of revealing your record to the licensing board or providing information regarding your conviction, you should seek the advice of a lawyer who specializes in occupational license defense.
Among the most common mistakes professionals make is disclosing too many details that could be utilized against them by the licensing board.
Your request for a license has been denied. If your application is denied, you get the opportunity to challenge the decision. You may want to speak with a lawyer about your appeal alternatives, and you should be aware of the stringent deadlines for filing an appeal. A strong defense can often lead to the granting of a professional license.
Discipline starts when the licensing board files an accusation. When you get an accusation, you need to consult an attorney immediately since you will only have a limited time to reply to the authorities to protect your rights to defend your license by submitting a Notice of Defense.
Following your conviction, a trained and experienced professional licensing lawyer will be able to provide you with extensive advice on how you should safeguard your license.
Lying on Your Application
Holders of professional licenses in California are expected to show high levels of honesty, precision, and integrity, which includes, recognizing mistakes in their practice and disclosing them immediately, and being compliant with every law and regulation affecting their practices.
For instance, for practicing nurses, falsification of patient documents, inconclusive or misleading patient paperwork, refusal to give the care record, or any other acts of dishonesty start raising serious questions about a person's capacity to offer safe and effective care.
When professionals engage in illegal and unethical conduct, the California Board will be concerned that the same actions may be perpetuated, affecting the quality of their practice. In general, it is the employer's responsibility to address any kind of lying in an application, unless the fabrication involves an honest error made in the individual's certifications, competencies, or work history. Misrepresenting one's qualifications will be scrutinized and judged by the California Licensing Board similarly to how deception or fabrication in any practice is handled.
When the Board learns of any acts of dishonesty in one's application, it will launch an investigation. Disciplinary measures could be appropriate based on the conditions. Applications for licensure Regardless of whether it's a first application for licensing, an application via recommendation, or even a renewal request, every document or form has questions that demand a "yes" or "no" response.
Most questions on the documents may have an impact on a person's capacity to work successfully as a professional. Furthermore, these papers ask for information that will be used to decide if the person meets the practice standards for a professional license.
The Board uses the responses to these inquiries to establish the individual's suitability for licensing. The Board understands that an applicant may mistakenly select a "no" or "yes" response or misinterpret the questions being posed.
However, the Board also believes that willfully providing misleading information is a major issue, since the misleading responses may enable an otherwise ineligible person to obtain or keep his or her license. Falsification raises questions about the person's predisposition for lying, as well as the chance that such behavior will persist in their profession. Disciplinary measures may be appropriate based on the facts.
Out of State Disciplinary Action
Professionals certified in California regularly carry licenses from neighboring jurisdictions, but what will happen to your California professional license when your professional license in a different state is revoked?
Most people mistakenly believe that since professional licenses are issued by separate states, administrative action taken on their out-of-state license will have no impact on their eligibility to practice in California. For this reason, they refuse to disclose the disciplinary actions, and their California professional license suffers as a result.
Based on the kind of license, you may be required to disclose it to the California licensing board when the out-of-state practicing license is under suspension, probation, revocation, or other forms of disciplinary measures. In some situations, you may only get 30 days to disclose out-of-state sanctions. Any disciplinary action taken against a license is considered a public record, and all licensing authorities disclose license revocations and suspensions to other jurisdictions through interstate databases.
This suggests that it is a matter of when, and not if, the board could be informed. Even though the laws do not force you to, it is sometimes preferable to self-report. If you have an out-of-state license or are seeking professional licensing in California as a first-timer, but your current license has been revoked, you must declare the disciplinary measures against you in your licensing application.
If your California license application is rejected as a result, a skilled licensing attorney can assist you in requesting an administrative hearing to dispute the refusal. Furthermore, as a licensed practitioner, you must be aware of any disciplinary measures taken against your professional license when applying to extend your license.
It's also to your benefit to seek legal advice from a licensing lawyer in California before reporting the sanction against your license to the board. If you've already declared the punishment, there's still some time to seek legal counsel, but you should do it as soon as possible because the procedure can move quickly.
The California licensing board will begin an inquiry as soon as you inform them of your out-of-state sanction. They could file a formal accusation as a part of this procedure, as well as pursue disciplinary measures against the license. You might be able to keep practicing in California by retaining your professional license with limitations if you have an attorney to defend you.
Typically, this form of lawsuit precedes a criminal accusation of substance dependency. Your activities before, during, or after work may be investigated. High-stress jobs, like nursing, can lead to greater levels of substance addiction among nurses.
If you're a California healthcare professional and are found guilty of alcohol or drug accusations, your career and livelihood may be jeopardized. Based on the governing body, convictions before your petition may preclude you from acquiring a professional license.
Approximately 50 jobs, as per the National Conference of State Legislatures, need professional licenses. If you have specific kinds of criminal offenses, your license could be withheld, suspended, or terminated by the licensing board for every one of these occupations.
If you've had a felony charge associated with the responsibilities, qualifications, or duties of the practice for which you are seeking, the board could deny you. A hairdresser, for instance, will not be denied her practicing license because of a DUI since it has no bearing on her professional duties.
The California Licensing Board may, nevertheless, suspend or revoke a nurse's license if he or she has drug-related crimes on his or her record. You could face disciplinary sanctions as a result of a single conviction or arrest, depending on your occupation.
Although all convictions and dropped charges must be reported to the licensing body, the reporting procedures vary by board. It might be when you are applying for your license, renewing your license, or maybe within a certain period.
You might not escape the initial repercussions if charges are dropped or records are erased, but it could be an important part of your case and recovery. Options for a suspended license could include an appeal procedure or particular conditions like a rehabilitation plan or substance addiction treatment.
Revocation or Suspension of a Different License
The California Licensing Board's authority to deny professional licenses extends beyond acts concerning the profession. Before applying to the California Board of Registered Nursing, Licensed Vocational Nurses, Respiratory Care Technicians, or even Certified Nursing Assistants who want to become Registered Nurses must deal with their licenses and state agencies.
When the Vocational Nursing board sanctions or revokes a license holder, the California Board of Registered Nursing might use that legal measure as an additional reason for license denial.
Inappropriate Conduct During the National Council Licensure Examination
The California Board of Registered Nursing considers integrity highly, and it has the authority to deny a professional license for any act " that involves dishonesty," regardless of if it was unlawful. Even though the purported "irregularity" is harmless, such as an infringement of examination regulations, this law is applied against nurses who may have some form of irregularity throughout the National Council Licensure Examination process.
The Board of Registered Nursing will almost certainly consider the incident dishonest, and the National Council of State Boards of Nursing will usually utilize the irregularities to stop a student nurse from sitting for the examination again.
Because passing the exam is among the conditions for becoming a nurse, any nurse could end up with two strikes against his or her application if they break only one regulation during the exam. If you're seeking to become a registered nurse in the state of California but are having trouble with a few of those issues, seek legal advice from a competent licensing defense lawyer.
Drugs or any other medical supplies that have been prescribed for patients must never be taken for personal gain. This is an example of how you could get in trouble with professional licensing boards for actions beyond the workplace.
The stresses of being a nurse, along with long shifts that cause exhaustion, insomnia, and physiological and emotional distress, in addition to nurse exposure to controlled drugs and opioids, could result in drug misappropriation and self-medication. Nurses' drug diversion might start when a nurse misuses medications as pain relievers, followed by recurrent, follow-up usage as drug resistance grows, and eventually, as a habitual user.
Prescription drug abuse by medical practitioners and drug diversions by medical workers has reached epidemic dimensions and have become a major national health concern. According to current statistics, 6–10% of nurses have a substance abuse disorder.
The overuse of drugs and prescription painkillers has also fostered a heroin pandemic as consumers shift to cheaper unauthorized substances. Drug diversions by healthcare workers also jeopardize patient safety by preventing patients from receiving the pain medications they require or exposing them to infectious illnesses as a consequence of provider negligence.
Stealing of prescription medications by medical practitioners usually happens for individual use, to sell the medication to someone else, or for monetary benefit.
Medical practitioners may divert pharmaceuticals by falsifying documentation, such as prescription doses that were not given to the patients but were instead utilized by the healthcare provider.
Diversion of prescription medications might happen from a prescription clinic, narcotics cabinet, or even a pharmacy
A nurse could potentially divert drugs by taking pain patches from their patient's body for individual use or sorting through clinical or dangerous waste (such as used and discarded syringes) for restricted substance residues
Failure to Pay State Taxes
Almost all certified professionals in California are at risk of being denied their professional licenses (and also their driving licenses) as of July 1, 2012, if they have been listed among California's top 500 biggest tax delinquents.
The Delinquent Taxpayer Accountability Act, or Assembly Bill 1424, is directed at California's highest tax debtors. The California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) and the Board of Equalization (BOE) have been granted the authority, allowing them to put defaulting taxpayers on each of their recognized lists of California's top 500 tax defaulters who owe more than $100,000.
On top of revoking driving licenses and practicing licenses, including the license to practice surgery, the bill allows California authorities to collaborate with other jurisdictions and the Internal Revenue Service to track down debtors who might have moved money out of their state.
When a license holder is on California's top debtors' registry, their occupational license will be denied or suspended once they reapply. When an application or license holder has been found to appear on the certified list, the candidate or license holder has ninety days from the date when the preliminary notice of suspension was issued to either settle all overdue tax liabilities or agree to a payment arrangement agreement with the BOE or FTB. Any employee who refuses to comply will have their licenses denied or revoked until the two bodies issue a clearance to the licensing authority, agency, board, or other entity.
California lawmakers could potentially broaden the provisions of the Delinquent Taxpayer Accountability Act to also include debtors with debts of under $100,000. Don't take the chance of losing your professional license and jeopardizing your career. Pay any overdue state tax obligations as soon as possible.
Find a Professional License Defense Attorney Near Me
If you're concerned about how any of the aforementioned grounds for license denial can affect your license, The Legal Guardian can assist you to understand your options and increase your odds of approval. We have extensive experience defending licensed professionals in Long Beach, CA, and we can assist you as well. Call us today at 888-293-0396 for a consultation.