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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

148B.59 DISCIPLINARY ACTION; RESTORATION OF LICENSE.

(a) The board may impose disciplinary action as described in paragraph (b) against an applicant or licensee whom the board, by a preponderance of the evidence, determines:

(1) has violated a statute, rule, or order that the board issued or is empowered to enforce;

(2) has engaged in fraudulent, deceptive, or dishonest conduct, whether or not the conduct relates to the practice of licensed professional counseling, that adversely affects the person's ability or fitness to practice professional counseling;

(3) has engaged in unprofessional conduct or any other conduct which has the potential for causing harm to the public, including any departure from or failure to conform to the minimum standards of acceptable and prevailing practice without actual injury having to be established;

(4) has been convicted of or has pled guilty or nolo contendere to a felony or other crime, an element of which is dishonesty or fraud, or has been shown to have engaged in acts or practices tending to show that the applicant or licensee is incompetent or has engaged in conduct reflecting adversely on the applicant's or licensee's ability or fitness to engage in the practice of professional counseling;

(5) has employed fraud or deception in obtaining or renewing a license, or in passing an examination;

(6) has had any counseling license, certificate, registration, privilege to take an examination, or other similar authority denied, revoked, suspended, canceled, limited, or not renewed for cause in any jurisdiction or has surrendered or voluntarily terminated a license or certificate during a board investigation of a complaint, as part of a disciplinary order, or while under a disciplinary order;

(7) has failed to meet any requirement for the issuance or renewal of the person's license. The burden of proof is on the applicant or licensee to demonstrate the qualifications or satisfy the requirements for a license under the Licensed Professional Counseling Act;

(8) has failed to cooperate with an investigation of the board;

(9) has demonstrated an inability to practice professional counseling with reasonable skill and safety to clients due to any mental or physical illness or condition;

(10) has engaged in fee splitting. This clause does not apply to the distribution of revenues from a partnership, group practice, nonprofit corporation, or professional corporation to its partners, shareholders, members, or employees if the revenues consist only of fees for services performed by the licensee or under a licensee's administrative authority. Fee splitting includes, but is not limited to:

(i) dividing fees with another person or a professional corporation, unless the division is in proportion to the services provided and the responsibility assumed by each professional;

(ii) referring a client to any health care provider as defined in sections 144.291 to 144.298 in which the referring licensee has a significant financial interest, unless the licensee has disclosed in advance to the client the licensee's own financial interest; and

(iii) paying, offering to pay, receiving, or agreeing to receive a commission, rebate, or remuneration, directly or indirectly, primarily for the referral of clients;

(11) has engaged in conduct with a client that is sexual or may reasonably be interpreted by the client as sexual, or in any verbal behavior that is seductive or sexually demeaning to a client;

(12) has been subject to a corrective action or similar action in another jurisdiction or by another regulatory authority; or

(13) has been adjudicated as mentally incompetent, mentally ill, or developmentally disabled or as a chemically dependent person, a person dangerous to the public, a sexually dangerous person, or a person who has a sexual psychopathic personality by a court of competent jurisdiction within this state or an equivalent adjudication from another state. Adjudication automatically suspends a license for the duration thereof unless the board orders otherwise.

(b) If grounds for disciplinary action exist under paragraph (a), the board may take one or more of the following actions:

(1) refuse to grant or renew a license;

(2) revoke a license;

(3) suspend a license;

(4) impose limitations or conditions on a licensee's practice of professional counseling, including, but not limited to, limiting the scope of practice to designated competencies, imposing retraining or rehabilitation requirements, requiring the licensee to practice under supervision, or conditioning continued practice on the demonstration of knowledge or skill by appropriate examination or other review of skill and competence;

(5) censure or reprimand the licensee;

(6) refuse to permit an applicant to take the licensure examination or refuse to release an applicant's examination grade if the board finds that it is in the public interest; or

(7) impose a civil penalty not exceeding $10,000 for each separate violation, the amount of the civil penalty to be fixed so as to deprive the applicant or licensee of any economic advantage gained by reason of the violation charged, to discourage similar violations or to reimburse the board for the cost of the investigation and proceeding, including, but not limited to, fees paid for services provided by the Office of Administrative Hearings, legal and investigative services provided by the Office of the Attorney General, court reporters, witnesses, reproduction of records, board members' per diem compensation, board staff time, and travel costs and expenses incurred by board staff and board members.

(c) In lieu of or in addition to paragraph (b), the board may require, as a condition of continued licensure, termination of suspension, reinstatement of license, examination, or release of examination grades, that the applicant or licensee:

(1) submit to a quality review, as specified by the board, of the applicant's or licensee's ability, skills, or quality of work; and

(2) complete to the satisfaction of the board educational courses specified by the board.

The board may also refer a licensee, if appropriate, to the health professionals services program described in sections 214.31 to 214.37.

(d) Service of the order is effective if the order is served on the applicant, licensee, or counsel of record personally or by mail to the most recent address provided to the board for the licensee, applicant, or counsel of record. The order shall state the reasons for the entry of the order.