(a)The authority may impose an administrative fine of up to two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) per violation on any licensed paramedic found to have committed any of the actions described by subdivision (c) of Section 1798.200 that did not result in actual harm to a patient. Fines may not be imposed if a paramedic has previously been disciplined by the authority for any other act committed within the immediately preceding five-year period.
(b)The authority shall adopt regulations establishing an administrative fine structure, taking into account the nature and gravity of the violation. The administrative fine shall not be imposed in conjunction with a suspension for the same violation, but may be imposed in conjunction with probation for the same violation except when the conditions of the probation require a paramedic’s personal time or expense for training, clinical observation, or related corrective instruction.
(c)In assessing the fine, the authority shall give due consideration to the appropriateness of the amount of the fine with respect to factors that include the gravity of the violation, the good faith of the paramedic, the history of previous violations, any discipline imposed by the paramedic’s employer for the same occurrence of that conduct, as reported pursuant to Section 1799.112, and the totality of the discipline to be imposed. The imposition of the fine shall be subject to the administrative adjudication provisions set forth in Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.
(d)If a paramedic does not pay the administrative fine imposed by the authority and chooses not to renew his or her license, the authority may enforce the order for repayment in any appropriate court. This right of enforcement shall be in addition to any other rights the authority may have to require a paramedic to pay costs.
(e)In any action for collection of an administrative fine, proof of the authority’s decision shall be conclusive proof of the validity of the order of payment and the terms for payment.
(f)(1)Except as provided in paragraph (2), the authority shall not license or renew the license of any paramedic who has failed to pay an administrative fine ordered under this section.
(2)The authority may, in its discretion, conditionally license or renew for a maximum of one year the license of any paramedic who demonstrates financial hardship and who enters into a formal agreement with the authority to reimburse the authority within that one-year period for the unpaid fine.
(g)All funds recovered under this section shall be deposited into the state General Fund.
(h)Nothing in this section shall preclude the authority from imposing an administrative fine in any stipulated settlement.
(i)For purposes of this section, “licensed paramedic” includes a paramedic whose license has lapsed or has been surrendered.