Department of Consumer Affairs, Board of Occupational Therapy

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Complaints - Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What types of complaints fall within the CBOT's jurisdiction?

  • Practicing occupational therapy without a license
  • Drug/alcohol use or abuse
  • Impaired practice due to drug/alcohol use
  • Gross negligence/incompetence
  • Patient abuse and neglect
  • Sexual, violent, or abusive offenses
  • Fraud/Theft offenses
  • Mentally impaired and unsafe to practice
  • Unprofessional conduct
  • Failing to provide appropriate supervision
  • Failing to appropriately or adequately document patient records
  • OTs or OTAs on probation who have violated their probation conditions
  • Other acts or convictions substantially related to the practice of occupational therapy

Q. What types of complaints are outside the CBOT's jurisdiction?

  • Interpersonal conflicts
  • Employee-employer relations
  • Labor issues
  • Rudeness or impolite behavior
  • Complaints against health care practitioners that are not OTs or OTAs
  • Complaints against health care facilities, clinics, or agency operations

Q. Can I file an anonymous complaint?

A. Yes, however, complaints that do not include the name of the person involved are difficult to investigate. It is important to provide specific details, including dates and times, list of witnesses or contacts, as well as any documentary evidence. We are also unable to inform the complainant of the outcome of their complaint.

If a complainant "confidentially" provides his or her name, address or phone number, the CBOT cannot guarantee anonymity if the case goes to hearing.

Q. How will my complaint be processed?

A. Within 10 days after receipt of the complaint, the CBOT will send you a written notification of receipt. Enforcement Program staff will evaluate the complaint and obtain any additional preliminary information needed. This is done for appropriate prioritization. Depending on this step, the complaint is handled in one or more of the following ways:

  • Close non-jurisdictional
    Complaints that do not fall within the CBOT's jurisdictional authority are closed and referred to the appropriate agency.
  • Refer to the Division of Investigation (DOI)
    Complaints which appear to involve a violation of the Occupational Therapy Practice Act are referred to the DOI for an investigation.
  • Investigated in-house by Board staff
    Board staff may conduct the initial investigation to further assess the complaint. In-house investigations may be referred to DOI as warranted. Practitioners (aka 'Experts') may also become involved by reviewing the Board/DOI investigation(s) and may also provide a written opinion.

Q. Who conducts the investigation?

A. DOI sworn peace officers conduct investigations on behalf of the CBOT; Board staff also conduct investigations.

Q. What happens during an investigation?

A. The investigator will interview the licensee and, as needed, interview the complainant, patient, co-workers and employers. The investigator will also gather documentation, such as patient records, personnel records, etc., from relevant sources. After all pertinent information is collected, the investigator prepares a report for the CBOT.

Q. Can I check on the status of a complaint I filed?

A. In order for the CBOT to ensure that the success of the investigation is not jeopardized, Enforcement Program staff cannot discuss details or give status updates on complaints pending investigation. However, CBOT program staff will confirm if the investigation is open and ongoing. Complaints are confidential and are not public record unless an accusation is filed.

Q. What does "Accusation Filed" mean?

A. If there is sufficient evidence to substantiate a violation of the Occupational Therapy Practice Act, a legal pleading is completed by the Attorney General's Office. The OT/OTA is sent the Accusation, which is a legal document that lists formal charges. The accusation is a public record and the complainant will be notified in writing if an accusation is served upon the OT/OTA.

Q. How long will it take to resolve my complaint?

A. This depends on the complexity of a complaint and the type of review necessary to address the allegation. It also depends on whether a complaint is substantiated. Therefore, the complaint can take anywhere from several months to a couple of years to resolve. During this process, your patience is appreciated.

Q. What does "Closed" mean?

A. After review and/or investigation, evidence was not found to substantiate a violation of the Occupational Therapy Practice Act. The complainant will be notified in writing when a complaint is closed.

Q. What does "Citation and Fine" mean?

A. In lieu of filing an accusation, a citation, which may contain an administrative fine and/or order of abatement, can be issued for lesser violations of the Occupational Therapy Practice Act.