If your parent lived in an abusive nursing home, would you want to know? If your day care was endangering your child, would you want to know? The answer is yes of course! Now a North Carolina law stifles would-be whistleblowers by making it illegal for employees to record or remove employer data or records, to record any images or sound on their employer’s property, or to place an unattended camera to film the property.
Lawmakers passed House Bill 405 over Gov. Pat McCrory's veto in June. Proponents say the law protects private property rights, while opponents dubbed it "ag-gag" legislation, arguing that it muzzles whistleblowers. The law gives businesses the right to sue employees who expose trade secrets or take pictures of their workplaces without consent. McCrory said he vetoed the bill because he feared it doesn't protect employees who want to report illegal activity, such as elder abuse in a nursing home.
This will require family members to be even more vigilant in safeguarding their loved ones. If you have suspicions it is paramount that you follow up on them and seek the advice of an experienced North Carolina elder abuse lawyer.
In addition to examining the various types of abuse and neglect, our experienced lawyers address what legal options may be available to you. Keep in mind, if you have suspicions, it is important to take action. The worst thing you can do is ignore those suspicions out of fear or hesitation. Why? Because if you're mistaken, the ramifications are likely to be minimal. If you're correct, then immediate steps need to be taken to halt the abuse or neglect and legal action should be pursued against the facility and its owner.
In North Carolina, Adult Protective Services received 9,142 reports of vulnerable adult mistreatment. Of these, nearly three-quarters (71%) involved adults aged 60 and older. The single largest group of confirmed cases involved self-neglect (60%). Also confirmed were allegations of caretaker neglect (26%) and exploitation (11%).
Documenting improper care at the nursing home is critical when bringing a claim. Nursing homes that accept federal money are subject to rules and regulations are by the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) and are enforced by the state in which the facility is located. The following regulations are applicable to elder care neglect claims:
- North Carolina General Statutes § 14-32.3 Domestic abuse, neglect, and exploitation of disabled or elder adults
- North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services
- Adult Protective Services Task Force