CHAPTER 400o
HOMEMAKER-COMPANION AGENCIES

Table of Contents

Sec. 20-670. Definitions.
Sec. 20-671. Registration of homemaker-companion agencies required.
Sec. 20-672. Application for registration. Fees. Failure to register.
Sec. 20-673. Certificate of registration; issuance or denial; suspension; revocation.
Sec. 20-674. Hearing on denial of certificate. Subsequent application.
Sec. 20-675. Fraudulent or deceptive conduct by homemaker-companion agency. Disciplinary actions.
Sec. 20-676. Inspection of records and investigations. Powers of commissioner. Injunctions.
Sec. 20-677. Display and advertisement of certificate of registration. Prohibitions. Penalties. Expiration. Renewal.
Sec. 20-678. Employees of homemaker-companion agencies. Submission to comprehensive background check. Written statements regarding prior criminal convictions or disciplinary action.
Sec. 20-679. Written contracts or service plans. Requirements.
Sec. 20-680. Regulations. Report.
Secs. 20-681 to 20-690.

      Sec. 20-670. Definitions. As used in sections 20-670 to 20-680, inclusive:

      (1) "Certificate" means a certificate of registration issued under section 20-672.

      (2) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Consumer Protection or any person designated by the commissioner to administer and enforce the provisions of sections 20-670 to 20-680, inclusive.

      (3) "Companion services" means nonmedical, basic supervision services to ensure the well-being and safety of a person in such person's home.

      (4) "Employee" means any person employed by, or who enters into a contract to perform services for, a homemaker-companion agency, including, but not limited to, temporary employees, pool employees and independent contractors.

      (5) "Homemaker services" means nonmedical, supportive services that ensure a safe and healthy environment for a person in such person's home, such services to include assistance with personal hygiene, cooking, household cleaning, laundry and other household chores.

      (6) "Homemaker-companion agency" means any public or private organization, employing one or more persons that is engaged in the business of providing companion services or homemaker services. Homemaker-companion agency shall not include a home health care agency, as defined in subsection (d) of section 19a-490, or a homemaker-home health aide agency, as defined in subsection (e) of section 19a-490.

      (7) "Service plan" means a written document provided by a homemaker-companion agency to a person utilizing services provided by such agency, that specifies the anticipated scope, type, frequency and duration of homemaker or companion services that are to be provided by such agency for the benefit of the person.

      (P.A. 06-187, S. 52.)

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      Sec. 20-671. Registration of homemaker-companion agencies required. No person acting individually or jointly with any other person shall establish, conduct, operate or maintain a homemaker-companion agency in this state without first obtaining a certificate of registration from the Commissioner of Consumer Protection pursuant to section 20-672.

      (P.A. 06-187, S. 53.)

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      Sec. 20-672. Application for registration. Fees. Failure to register. (a) Any person seeking a certificate of registration as a homemaker-companion agency shall apply to the Commissioner of Consumer Protection, in writing, on a form provided by the commissioner. The application shall include the applicant's name, residence address, business address, business telephone number and such other information as the commissioner may require. An applicant shall also be required to certify under oath to the commissioner that: (1) Such agency complies with the requirements of section 20-678 concerning employee comprehensive background checks, (2) such agency provides all persons receiving homemaker or companion services with a written individualized contract or service plan that specifically identifies the anticipated scope, type, frequency and duration of homemaker or companion services provided by the agency to the person, (3) such agency maintains a surety bond, and (4) all records maintained by such agency shall be open, at all reasonable hours, for inspection, copying or audit by the commissioner.

      (b) Each application for a certificate of registration as a homemaker-companion agency shall be accompanied by a fee of three seventy-five hundred dollars.

      (c) Upon the failure by a homemaker-companion agency to comply with the registration provisions of this section, the Attorney General, at the request of the Commissioner of Consumer Protection, is authorized to apply in the name of the state of Connecticut to the Superior Court for an order temporarily or permanently restraining and enjoining a homemaker-companion agency from continuing to do business in the state.

      (P.A. 06-187, S. 54; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-3, S. 276.)

      History: June Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-3 amended Subsec. (b) to increase fee.

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      Sec. 20-673. Certificate of registration; issuance or denial; suspension; revocation. Upon receipt of a completed application and fee, the Commissioner of Consumer Protection shall issue and deliver to the applicant a certificate to engage in the business for which the application was made; or refuse to issue the certificate. The commissioner may suspend, revoke or refuse to issue or renew any certificate issued under sections 20-670 to 20-680, inclusive, or may place a registrant on probation or issue a letter of reprimand. No application for the reinstatement of a certificate which has been revoked shall be accepted by the commissioner within one year after the date of such revocation.

      (P.A. 06-187, S. 55.)

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      Sec. 20-674. Hearing on denial of certificate. Subsequent application. (a) Upon refusal to issue or renew a certificate, the Commissioner of Consumer Protection shall notify the applicant of the denial and of the applicant's right to request a hearing not later than ten days after the date of receipt of the notice of denial.

      (b) If the applicant requests a hearing within such ten days, the commissioner shall give notice of the grounds for the commissioner's refusal and shall conduct a hearing concerning such refusal in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 concerning contested cases.

      (c) If the commissioner's denial of a certificate is sustained after such hearing, an applicant may make new application not less than one year after the date on which such denial was sustained.

      (P.A. 06-187, S. 56.)

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      Sec. 20-675. Fraudulent or deceptive conduct by homemaker-companion agency. Disciplinary actions. (a) The Commissioner of Consumer Protection may revoke, suspend or refuse to issue or renew any certificate of registration as a homemaker-companion agency or place an agency on probation or issue a letter of reprimand for: (1) Conduct by the agency, or by an employee of the agency while in the course of employment, of a character likely to mislead, deceive or defraud the public or the commissioner; or (2) engaging in any untruthful or misleading advertising.

      (b) The commissioner shall not revoke or suspend any certificate of registration except upon notice and hearing in accordance with chapter 54.

      (P.A. 06-187, S. 58.)

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      Sec. 20-676. Inspection of records and investigations. Powers of commissioner. Injunctions. (a) The Commissioner of Consumer Protection, at all reasonable hours, may inspect, copy or audit all records maintained by such agency. The commissioner may conduct investigations and hold hearings on any matter under the provisions of sections 20-670 to 20-680, inclusive. The commissioner may issue subpoenas, administer oaths, compel testimony and order the production of books, records and documents. If any person refuses to appear, to testify or to produce any book, record, paper or document when so ordered, upon application of the commissioner, a judge of the Superior Court may make such order as may be appropriate to aid in the enforcement of this section.

      (b) The Attorney General, at the request of the commissioner, is authorized to apply in the name of the state of Connecticut to the Superior Court for an order temporarily or permanently restraining and enjoining any person from violating any provision of sections 20-670 to 20-680, inclusive.

      (P.A. 06-187, S. 57.)

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      Sec. 20-677. Display and advertisement of certificate of registration. Prohibitions. Penalties. Expiration. Renewal. (a) Each person obtaining a homemaker-companion agency certificate of registration shall: (1) Exhibit the agency's certificate of registration upon request by any interested party, (2) state in any advertisement the fact that the agency is registered, and (3) include the agency's registration number in any advertisement.

      (b) No person shall: (1) Present or attempt to present, as such person's own, the certificate of another, (2) knowingly give false evidence of a material nature to the Commissioner of Consumer Protection for the purpose of procuring a certificate, (3) represent himself or herself falsely as, or impersonate, a registered homemaker-companion agency, (4) use or attempt to use a certificate which has expired or which has been suspended or revoked, (5) offer or provide homemaker or companion services without having a current certificate of registration under the provisions of sections 20-670 to 20-680, inclusive, or (6) represent in any manner that such person's registration constitutes an endorsement by the commissioner of the quality of services provided by such person.

      (c) In addition to any other remedy provided for in sections 20-670 to 20-676, inclusive, any person who violates any provision of subsection (b) of this section shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

      (d) Certificates issued to a homemaker-companion agency shall not be transferable or assignable.

      (e) All certificates issued under the provisions of sections 20-670 to 20-680, inclusive, shall expire annually. The fee for renewal of a certificate shall be the same as the fee charged for an original application pursuant to section 20-672. Fees collected pursuant to the issuance of a certificate or renewal of a certificate shall be deposited in the General Fund.

      (f) Failure to receive a notice of expiration of registration or a renewal application shall not exempt a homemaker-companion agency from the obligation to renew.

      (P.A. 06-187, S. 59; P.A. 08-17, S. 1; P.A. 10-32, S. 78.)

      History: P.A. 08-17 amended Subsec. (b)(5) by replacing "to" with "or" to prohibit any person from offering or providing homemaker or companion services without a certificate of registration; P.A. 10-32 made a technical change in Subsec. (c), effective May 10, 2010.

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      Sec. 20-678. Employees of homemaker-companion agencies. Submission to comprehensive background check. Written statements regarding prior criminal convictions or disciplinary action. Each homemaker-companion agency shall require that any employee of such agency hired on or after October 1, 2006, submit to a comprehensive background check. In addition, each homemaker-companion agency shall require that any employee of such agency hired on or after October 1, 2006, complete and sign a form which contains questions as to whether the current or prospective employee was convicted of a crime involving violence or dishonesty in a state court or federal court in any state; or was subject to any decision imposing disciplinary action by a licensing agency in any state, the District of Columbia, a United States possession or territory or a foreign jurisdiction. Any employee of a homemaker-companion agency hired on or after October 1, 2006, who makes a false written statement regarding such prior criminal convictions or disciplinary action shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

      (P.A. 06-187, S. 60.)

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      Sec. 20-679. Written contracts or service plans. Requirements. Not later than seven calendar days after the date on which a homemaker-companion agency commences providing homemaker services or companion services, such agency shall provide the person who receives the services, or the authorized representative of such person, with a written contract or service plan that prescribes the anticipated scope, type, frequency, duration and cost of the services provided by the agency. In addition, any contract or service plan provided by a homemaker-companion agency to a person receiving services shall also provide notice (1) of the person's right to request changes to, or review of the contract or service plan, (2) of the employees of such agency who, pursuant to section 20-678 are required to submit to a comprehensive background check, and (3) that such agency's records are available for inspection or audit by the Department of Consumer Protection. No contract or service plan for the provision of homemaker or companion services shall be valid against the person who receives the services or the authorized representative of such person, unless the contract or service plan has been signed by a duly authorized representative of the homemaker-companion agency and the person who receives the services or the authorized representative of such person. The requirements of this section shall not apply to homemaker services or companion services provided under the Connecticut home-care program for the elderly administered by the Department of Social Services in accordance with section 17b-342.

      (P.A. 06-187, S. 61.)

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      Sec. 20-680. Regulations. Report. (a) The Commissioner of Consumer Protection shall adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, to carry out the provisions of sections 20-670 to 20-679, inclusive. The Commissioner of Consumer Protection may implement policies and procedures necessary to administer the provisions of sections 20-670 to 20-679, inclusive, while in the process of adopting such policies and procedures as regulations, provided the commissioner prints notice of the intent to adopt the regulations in the Connecticut Law Journal not later than twenty days after the date of implementation. Such policies and procedures shall be valid until the time final regulations are adopted.

      (b) Not later than January 1, 2008, the Commissioner of Consumer Protection shall report, in accordance with section 11-4a, on the implementation of the provisions of sections 20-670 to 20-679, inclusive, to the select committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to aging and to the office of the Governor. Such report may include recommended revisions to the general statutes or other changes that the commissioner deems necessary or advisable to enhance the implementation of the provisions of sections 20-670 to 20-679, inclusive.

      (P.A. 06-187, S. 62.)

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      Secs. 20-681 to 20-690. Reserved for future use.

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