§16-5D-8. Investigation of complaints.
(a) The secretary shall establish by rule procedures for prompt investigation of all complaints of alleged violations by assisted living residences of applicable requirements of state law or rules, except for such complaints that the secretary determines are willfully intended to harass a licensee or are without any reasonable basis. Such procedures shall include provisions for ensuring the confidentiality of the complainant and of any other person so named in the complaint and for promptly informing the complainant and the assisted living residence involved of the results of the investigation.

(b) If, after its investigation, the secretary determines that the complaint has merit, the secretary shall take appropriate disciplinary action and shall advise any injured party of the possibility of a civil remedy under this article.

(c) No assisted living residence may discharge or in any manner discriminate against any resident or employee for the reason that the resident or employee has filed a complaint or participated in any proceeding specified in this article. Violation of this prohibition by any assisted living residence constitutes ground for the suspension or revocation of the license of the assisted living residence as provided in section eleven of this article. Any type of discriminatory treatment of a resident or employee by whom, or upon whose behalf, a complaint has been submitted to the secretary , or any proceeding instituted under this article, within one hundred twenty days of the filing of the complaint or the institution of the action, shall raise a rebuttable presumption that the action was taken by the assisted living residence in retaliation for the complaint or action.