A 2008 case involved a BRN investigation and adverse action against an RN for being arrested on his weekend driving for driving under the influence of alcohol. The RN was arrested for DUI in a distant location away from his home and workplace while he was on a vacation. He reported the arrest to his employer, Kaiser Permanente who began an internal investigation as to whether any form of employment adverse action was warranted. It appears that Kaiser Permanente notified the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) of the RN’s arrest. The RN pled no contest to a misdemeanor DUI violation. As a result, he paid a fine, was placed on probation, and attend alcohol abuse classes and suffered a temporary suspension of his driver’s license. His employer, Kaiser Permanente decided that significant employment adverse action was not warranted.
Approximately six months later the BRN through his Department of Consumer Affairs investigator advised the RN that it was conducting an investigation. A lengthy investigation ensued at the conclusion of which the investigator’s recommended that the RN’s license be suspended for a period of one year. Obviously, this would have resulted in the immediate employment termination of the RN.
The RN appealed the proposed license suspension and, with his RN Guardian lawyer went to arbitration. After hearing the evidence, the Arbitrator issued a ruling that the BRN’s proposed action was far too severe. The Arbitrator ruled that the suspension should be held in abeyance for a period of one year. If the RN had no further alcohol related acts of misconduct, the disciplinary action would be dismissed with prejudice. In the event the RN had an additional alcohol related mishap the one year suspension of his license would be warranted at that time. The RN is doing fine and continues to work at Kaiser Permanente. Neither the RN nor his RN Guardian lawyer anticipates that he will have any additional alcohol related mishaps.