§ 15.22. Safeguards for those who make or receive reports.
(a) Protection from retaliation. Under the act, a person or entity who takes discriminatory, retaliatory or disciplinary action against an employee or other person who makes a report, against a person who cooperates with the agency or the Department to provide testimony or other information about a report, or against a victim of abuse, commits a violation of the act. The person who takes the discriminatory, retaliatory or disciplinary action is subject to a civil lawsuit by the person who made the report, the victim of abuse named in the report, or the person who cooperated with the agency or the Department. If the court which hears the lawsuit decides in favor of the plaintiff, the plaintiff shall recover triple compensatory damages, compensatory and punitive damages or $5,000, whichever is greater, from the person or entity which committed the violation.
(b) Immunity from liability. As provided under the act, a person who participates in the making of a report or completion of an investigation or who provides testimony in an administrative or judicial proceeding arising out of a report shall be immune from civil or criminal liability because of these actions unless the person acted in bad faith or with malicious purpose. The act does not extend this immunity to liability for acts of abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment, even if the acts are the subject of the report or testimony.
(c) Intimidation; penalty. Any person, including the victim, with knowledge sufficient to justify making a report or cooperating with the agency, including possibly providing testimony in any administrative or judicial proceeding, shall be free from any intimidation by an employer or by any other person or entity. Any person who violates this subsection is subject to civil lawsuit by the person intimidated or the victim wherein the person intimidated or the victim shall recover treble compensatory damages, compensatory and punitive damages or $5,000, whichever is greater.
(d) Notification. The administrator of a facility shall post notices in conspicuous and accessible locations and use other appropriate means to notify employees, residents and other individuals of protections and obligations under the act, and keep them informed of the protections and obligations.
The provisions of this § 15.22 amended May 17, 2002, effective May 18, 2002, 32 Pa.B. 2412. Immediately preceding text appears at serial page (228899).
This section cited in 55 Pa. Code § 2600.15 (relating to abuse reporting covered by law); and 55 Pa. Code § 2800.15 (relating to abuse reporting covered by law).
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