Pennsylvania licenses skilled and educated professionals in many industries. You need state licensing to work in medicine, architecture, real estate and cosmetology, among other professions. Once you have already invested time and money in a career that requires licensing, you likely want to continue developing that profession.
Unfortunately, professionals who deal with the public are always in a bit of a tenuous position. Those customers or clients who become very upset about a bad experience or those trying to extort a professional for free or reduced-cost services could try to use someone’s professional licensing as a weapon against them during a conflict.
Many state licensing boards allow anonymous reporting
If somebody brings serious allegations against you that result in criminal charges, you usually have the right to review all of the evidence they bring against you, such as the names of those testifying against you. Although state licensing boards will investigate complaints and possibly impose punishments, you don’t have the exact same rights as in criminal court.
You may never know who brought the complaint against you, which means that anyone from a secretary angry about not getting a raise to a patient denied a refill of their opioid medication might exaggerate or outright fabricate claims against you two damn is your professional reputation and affect your licensing.
Allowing anonymous reporting encourages whistleblowing in scenarios where there is real wrongdoing occurring, but the potential does exist for some people to misuse this system.
While you may not get to confront your accuser, you can defend yourself
Although the licensing board for your profession may not disclose all of the details, like the name of the individual who anonymously reported that you are a drug addict when you work as a pharmacist, it will have to give you information about the accusations and a chance to defend yourself.
You even have the right to bring an attorney with you to disciplinary hearings to help advocate on your behalf. Especially if you struggle to calmly defend yourself in situations you perceive as unjust, having help could make a big difference regarding the outcome of those hearings.
Knowing your rights when facing accusations of professional misconduct can make it easier for you to protect the licensing necessary for the career that you have invested so much in already.