Mass. General Laws c.112 § 137

Licenses; board of registration of social workers' refusal to renew; revocation; suspension; notice; hearing; enforcement by injunction; reinstatement

This is an unofficial version of a Massachusetts General Law. For more information on this topic, please see law about professional licensure.

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Amended by St.2022, c.127, §17, effective July 29, 2022

Section 137

The board may refuse to renew, revoke, suspend for an indefinite period or cancel the certificate of registration or order further training or reprimand, censure or otherwise discipline a licensee on proof after a hearing that the person has been convicted of a felony involving moral turpitude in connection with the practice of social work or has been found guilty by the board of having employed fraud or deceit in obtaining his license unethically or of gross negligence in the conduct of his practice; provided, however, that notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, no person shall be subject to discipline by the board, including the revocation, suspension or cancellation of the certificate of registration or reprimand, censure or monetary fine, for providing or assisting in the provision of reproductive health care services or gender-affirming health care services, as those terms are defined in section 11I½ of chapter 12, or for any judgment, discipline or other sanction arising from such health care services if the services as provided would have been lawful and consistent with the standards of professional practice and conduct for social workers if they occurred entirely in the commonwealth; provided further, that the board shall not take adverse action on an application for registration of a qualified social worker based on a criminal or civil action or disciplinary action by a licensing board of another state that arises from such health care services that, as provided, would have been lawful and consistent with the standards of professional practice and conduct for social workers if they occurred entirely in the commonwealth.

Nothing in this section shall be construed to regulate the practice of social work in any other state.

Notice in writing of a contemplated revocation or suspension of a license, of the cause therefor in sufficient particularity and of the date of the hearing thereon, shall be sent by registered or certified mail to the licensee at his last known address at least fifteen days before the date of such hearing. The social worker against whom a charge has been filed shall have a right to appear before the board in person or by counsel, or both, may produce witnesses and evidence in his behalf, and may question witnesses. No license shall be revoked or suspended without such hearing, but the non-appearance of the licensee, after notice, shall not prevent such hearing. All matters upon which the decision of the board is based shall be specified in writing and the licensee shall receive written notification of the board's decision. Except as specified above, all proceedings conducted by the board pursuant to this section shall be implemented in accordance with the provisions of chapter thirty A.

After issuing an order for revocation or suspension the board may also file a petition in equity in the superior court in the county in which the respondent resides or conducts his practice of social work, or in Suffolk county, to ensure appropriate injunctive relief to expedite the secure enforcement of its order.

The board may, not less than three years after the revocation of any license to practice social work, accept an application to reinstate such license. The board may reinstate such license if, in its opinion, the circumstances causing such revocation no longer warrant continuation of the revocation.

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Last updated: July 29, 2022

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