2016 Oklahoma Statutes
Title 43A. Mental Health
§43A-10-104v1. Persons required to report abuse – Contents of report – Penalty – Immunity – False reports – Reporting of suspicious deaths – Impairment of employment prohibited.
A. 1. Any person having reasonable cause to believe that a vulnerable adult is suffering from abuse, neglect, or exploitation shall make a report to either the Department of Human Services, the office of the district attorney in the county in which the suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation occurred or the local municipal police department or sheriff's department as soon as the person is aware of the situation.
2. a.If a report is made to the Department of Human Services, the county office, after investigating the report, shall forward its findings to the office of the district attorney in the county in which the suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation occurred.
b.The findings shall also be sent to any state agency with concurrent jurisdiction over persons or issues identified in the investigation, including, where appropriate, the State Department of Health, the Oklahoma Board of Nursing, or any other appropriate state licensure or certification board, agency, or registry.
B. Persons required to make reports pursuant to this section shall include, but not be limited to:
2. Operators of emergency response vehicles and other medical professionals;
3. Social workers and mental health professionals;
4. Law enforcement officials;
5. Staff of domestic violence programs; and
6. Long-term care facility personnel.
C. The report shall contain the name and address of the vulnerable adult, the name and address of the caretaker, if any, and a description of the current location and current condition of the vulnerable adult and of the situation which may constitute abuse, neglect or exploitation of the vulnerable adult.
D. Any person who knowingly and willfully fails to promptly report any abuse, neglect, or exploitation as required by the provisions of subsections A and B of this section, upon conviction, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for a term not exceeding one (1) year or by a fine of not more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), or by both such fine and imprisonment.
E. 1. Any person participating in good faith and exercising due care in the making of a report pursuant to the provisions of this section shall have immunity from any civil or criminal liability that might otherwise be incurred or imposed. Any such participant shall have the same immunity with respect to participation in any judicial proceeding resulting from such report.
2. The same immunity from any civil or criminal liability shall also be extended to previous employers of a person employed to be responsible for the care of a vulnerable adult, who in good faith report to new employers or prospective employers of such caretaker any misconduct of the caretaker including, but not limited to, abuse, neglect or exploitation of a vulnerable adult, whether confirmed or not.
F. Any person who willfully or recklessly makes a false report shall be civilly liable for any actual damages suffered by the person being reported and for any punitive damages set by the court or jury which may be allowed in the discretion of the court or jury.
G. Any state or county medical examiner or physician who has reasonable cause to suspect that the death of any vulnerable adult may be the result of abuse or neglect as defined by Section 10-103 of this title shall make a report to the district attorney of the county in which the death occurred. The report shall include the name of the person making the report, the name of the deceased person, the facts or other evidence supporting such suspicion, and any other information that may be of assistance to the district attorney in conducting an investigation into the matter.
H. No employer shall terminate the employment, prevent or impair the practice or occupation of or impose any other sanction on any employee solely for the reason that the employee made or caused to be made a report or cooperated with an investigation pursuant to the Protective Services for Vulnerable Adults Act. A court, in addition to other damages and remedies, may assess reasonable attorney fees against an employer who has been found to have violated the provisions of this subsection.
Added by Laws 1977, c. 264, § 4, emerg. eff. June 17, 1977. Amended by Laws 1984, c. 140, § 1, eff. Nov. 1, 1984; Laws 1984, c. 256, § 4, eff. Nov. 1, 1984. Renumbered from § 804 of this title by Laws 1986, c. 103, § 103, eff. Nov. 1, 1986. Amended by Laws 1993, c. 159, § 1, eff. July 1, 1993; Laws 1997, c. 195, § 7, eff. Nov. 1, 1997; Laws 1998, c. 298, § 4, eff. Nov. 1, 1998; Laws 2000, c. 340, § 24, eff. July 1, 2000; Laws 2003, c. 332, § 3, emerg. eff. May 29, 2003.
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