§16-5N-8. Investigation of complaints.
The secretary shall by rule establish procedures for the prompt investigation of all complaints of alleged violations of applicable requirements of state law or rules by residential care communities, except those complaints that the director determines are without any reasonable basis or are made with the sole intention to willfully harass a licensee. These procedures shall include provisions for ensuring the confidentiality of the complainant and of any other person named in the complaint, and for promptly informing the complainant and the residential care community involved of the results of the investigation.

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

No residential care community may discharge or in any manner discriminate or retaliate against any employee or resident for filing a complaint or participating in any proceeding provided for in this article. Violation of this prohibition by any residential care community constitutes grounds for the suspension or revocation of its license as provided in section eleven of this article. Any type of adverse action taken by a residential care community against a resident who has submitted a complaint to the director or upon whose behalf a complaint has been submitted or who has instituted any proceeding under this article, if taken within onehundred twenty days of the filing of the complaint or the institution of the proceeding, shall raise a rebuttable presumption that the adverse action was taken in retaliation for filing the complaint or instituting the proceeding.