Common Complaints Leading to Disciplinary Action for Chiropractors and Massage Therapists

November 19, 2021
The Law Firm of J.W. Stafford

Man getting his back examined

Whether it’s the Maryland Board of Chiropractic Examiners or the Board of Massage Therapy Examiners, they take complaints against practitioners very seriously, and you should too. Disciplinary action can result in a public reprimand, suspension, or even revocation of your license. Ultimately, disciplinary action can harm your ability to earn a living in your chosen profession. Unfortunately, many massage therapists and chiropractors don’t realize that they need a lawyer until it’s too late. If you have received a complaint and are facing disciplinary action, a Maryland employment lawyer can help you navigate the process and get a fair outcome. 

Allegations Involving Inappropriate Contact with Patients

Massage therapists and chiropractors work with patients in a way that requires physical contact, often when clients are in a state of partial undress. As a result, it is easy for someone to claim that you touched them inappropriately or even sexually assaulted them. These are obviously very serious allegations and are vigorously investigated by the disciplinary board. And even if the complaint doesn’t result in the suspension of your license, the harm to your reputation could be irreparable. Licensed massage therapists are especially at risk because of the stigma caused by illegal massage businesses. If you have been accused of having inappropriate contact with patients, it is critical that you contact a Maryland employment lawyer as soon as possible so they can help you manage the situation before it goes too far.

Negligence or Malpractice

Chiropractors are more at risk for these types of complaints than massage therapists, but there is always the possibility that treatment could result in injury to your patients. In this situation, you need to be able to demonstrate that you rendered services according to standard accepted practices. While this sounds straightforward, it can be more challenging to prove than you think. And again, the mere filing of a complaint could damage your reputation even if the complaint is later dismissed. A Maryland employment lawyer can help you resolve these complaints quickly and with minimal negative repercussions. 

Criminal Charges

While criminal charges do not result in complaints from clients, they can result in disciplinary action even if the criminal charges are not related to your practice as a chiropractor or a massage therapist. Licensing boards take the reputation of their professions very seriously and will take action in any case where they believe your actions will reflect poorly on them. Felony charges, in particular, will almost always trigger disciplinary action, but you shouldn’t assume that your misdemeanor charges will be overlooked. If you have been charged with a crime, you should discuss the implications with a Maryland employment lawyer as soon as possible so that you can begin preparing to defend your license if need be. In fact, the possibility of disciplinary action may shape how you proceed with your criminal charges, so don’t wait until the criminal case has been completed. 

Drugs or Alcohol Abuse

Of course, DUIs or other drug or alcohol charges can lead to disciplinary charges, but patients can also file their own complaints alleging that you are abusing drugs or alcohol. Allegations that you were providing services while under the influence are taken especially seriously by licensing boards, but any allegation that your use of drugs or alcohol interferes with your practice could lead to serious consequences. These allegations can be challenging because it is essentially your word against theirs. However, a Maryland employment lawyer will know what kind of evidence you need to respond to these types of complaints. 

Unqualified or Unlicensed Assistants

If you employ other therapists, chiropractors, or other assistants, you need to be especially careful that they have the necessary licenses and qualifications. Complaints alleging that your assistants were unlicensed or unqualified or that you failed to provide adequate supervision could result in your reprimand, suspension, or even revocation. A Maryland employment lawyer can help you demonstrate that you had the necessary protocols in place to ensure that your assistants are appropriately trained, licensed, and given the appropriate supervision at all times. 

Facing Disciplinary Action? Contact Maryland Employment Lawyer J.W. Stafford

 If you are facing disciplinary action, the most important thing to remember is that you don’t have to face these proceedings alone. Maryland employment lawyer J.W. Stafford has deep experience in helping licensed professionals defend themselves at all stages of the disciplinary process. From formulating an effective defense to navigating the procedural complexities of the process, he knows how to get a fair result. To schedule a consultation to discuss your case, contact us today at 410-514-6099.