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Are health care workers that report unsafe conditions protected from retaliation?

On Behalf of | Feb 7, 2022 | Workplace Retaliation |

Kentucky health care workers have the duty of assuring that quality care is provided to patients and residents of licensed facilities. They should also report situations where this care is jeopardized. Fortunately, Kentucky law prohibits retaliation for making these reports.


Kentucky’s Patient Safety Act requires health care workers and agents to report quality of care issues to their employer. The law also prohibits workplace retaliation for these reports.

Employees or agents of state licensed health care facilities or services must make an oral or written report to the facility or service if they know or have reasonable cause to believe that a patient’s quality of care, safety or the facility or service’s safety is in jeopardy. They may also submit these reports to a private or government agency.

An administrator or supervisor who receives these reported must investigate the problem, take appropriate action, and respond to the person who reported the problem within seven working days.

Retaliation prohibited

These reports may cause legal and regulatory problems for licensed facilities and services.  But they may not take any measures to discourage, restrain, discourage, dissuade, deter, prevent, or interfere with an employee or agent who reports, discloses, divulges, or tells the health care facility or service the facts or circumstances that form the basis of these reports.

Illegal actions include any form of coercion or discrimination against individual making reports. Agents or employees do not have to give notice before making a report or disclosure or divulging information.

This law is important to assure that employees are not deterred from reporting potentially serious problems. But employees or agents must file reports in good faith and have a reasonable basis for making these reports.

Health care facilities or services must comply with this law as a condition of their state licensure.

Proving quality care is difficult and workers should not face the risk of retaliation for reporting problems. Attorneys can help protect their rights when heath care facilities or services engage in illegal retaliation or take other unlawful actions for making these reports.