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Elder Neglect Resources

Beware of Arbitration Agreements

No citizen of California is required to surrender their basic constitutional rights and civil protections to secure a bed in a nursing home or in a residential care facility as a condition for admission or for adequate care.

In an effort to prevent residents from being able to utilize our courts to seek redress for abuse or neglect, nursing homes and residential care facilities encourage new and current residents to sign admission agreements that include binding arbitration provisions. (Source CAHNR 2011)  Most often a new resident or their family will sign such an agreement - along with dozens of other admission documents - without any idea it was even signed.  If the arbitration agreement is questioned, often the facility will make a dismissive comment indicating that the document  makes it a lot more simple and much less expensive in the unlikely event that a dispute arises.

The Law Offices of Joseph M. Earley (and other elder advocates) know that arbitration agreements are extremely detrimental to elders' constitutional rights.  Residents are strongly encouraged to decline signing any agreement to arbitrate (or if you have signed one, to revoke the agreement).

If you or a loved one is injured by a nursing home and you have waived your rights and agreed to arbitration, you will not be able to litigate your complaint in a court of law.  This is a critical constitutional right which requires that a court of law follow the law.  An arbitrator, on the other hand, IS NOT REQUIRED TO FOLLOW THE LAW.  You will have to pay for an arbitrator to decide your case, who are generally not neutral. You will be denied your right to trial by a jury. For more information regarding the detriments of arbitration agreements click here - http://www.canhr.org/factsheets/nh_fs/html/fs_Arbitration.htm

Filing a Complaint with the State

In California the Licensing division of the California Department of Health allows any person to file a complaint against a nursing home. They are the State agency responsible for enforcing laws that apply to nursing homes. As with any State agency, they do not always have the resources, authority or motivation to fully investigate all claims. If Licensing does not find a violation, it does not mean it did not happen. If you feel you or a family member has been harmed, contact the Law Offices of Joseph M. Earley for a free and confidential consultation.

For Instructions on How to File a Complaint with the California Department of Health (Licensing) against a Nursing Home

click here: http://www.canhr.org/factsheets/nh_fs/html/fs_NH_complaint.htm

Visit your Family Member Often and Not at Routine Times

If a family member is in a nursing home or residential care facility it is best to visit often and at different times. If you suspect something is wrong, do not be afraid to speak up and voice your concern.  Ideally, complaints will be made in writing, copied, and given to the Administrator.  For instance, with bed sores, it is much easier to prevent the formation of a pressure ulcer than to treat one that has already formed. Although it is ultimately the facility's responsibility to properly administer care and follow proper standards, it is incumbent upon families of residents to speak up if they feel their loved one is being neglected.  Facilities know which residents' families are paying attention.


 

Employment Law Resources

California Department of Fair Employment and Housing / Complaints - www.dfeh.ca.gov

Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (Unpaid Wages) - www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/dlse.html

California Wage Claim Procedures - www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/howtofilewageclaim.htm

California Employment Law Association (CELA) - www.cela.org

California Department of Industrial Relations - www.dir.ca.gov

California Employment Development Department (EDD) - www.edd.ca.gov

California Public Employment Relations Board - www.perb.ca.gov

Legal Aid Society - Employment Law Center - www.las-elc.org

National Labor Relations Board - www.nlrb.gov


 

Other Resources

Butte County Superior Court - www.buttecourt.ca.gov

California Law - www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html

Compare Nursing Homes - www.Medicare.gov

California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, Advocacy Group - www.canhr.org

California State Bar - www.calbar.ca.gov

Info regarding various Long Term Care Facilities / Complaint Process - hfcis.cdph.ca.gov