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. Disciplinary actions against homemaker-companion agency. Grounds. Notice and hearing.

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. Prospective employees required to submit to comprehensive background check. Written statements re prior criminal convictions or disciplinary action. Maintenance and inspection of records.

Sec. 20-679. Written contracts or service plans. Requirements.

Sec. 20-679a. Written notice requirements for registries.

Sec. 20-680. Regulations. Report.

Secs. 20-681 to 20-690. Reserved


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 persons treated by such agency as independent contractors.

(5) “Comprehensive background check” means a background investigation of a prospective employee performed by a homemaker-companion agency, that includes: (A) A review of any application materials prepared or requested by the agency and completed by the prospective employee; (B) an in-person interview of the prospective employee; (C) verification of the prospective employee’s Social Security number; (D) if the position applied for within the agency requires licensure on the part of the prospective employee, verification that the required license is in good standing; (E) a check of the registry established and maintained pursuant to section 54-257; (F) a review of criminal conviction information obtained through a search of current criminal matters of public record in this state based on the prospective employee’s name and date of birth; (G) if the prospective employee has resided in this state less than three years prior to the date of the application with the agency, a review of criminal conviction information from the state or states where such prospective employee resided during such three-year period; and (H) a review of any other information that the agency deems necessary in order to evaluate the suitability of the prospective employee for the position.

(6) “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.

(7) “Homemaker-companion agency” means (A) any public or private organization that employs one or more persons and is engaged in the business of providing companion services or homemaker services, or (B) any registry. “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.

(8) “Registry” means any person or entity engaged in the business of supplying or referring an individual to or placing an individual with a consumer to provide homemaker or companion services provided by such individual, when the individual providing such services is either (A) directly compensated, in whole or in part, by the consumer, or (B) treated, referred to or considered by such person or entity as an independent contractor.

(9) “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; P.A. 11-230, S. 1; 11-242, S. 91.)

History: P.A. 11-230 redefined “employee” in Subdiv. (4), added new Subdiv. (7) defining “registry”, redesignated existing Subdiv. (7) as Subdiv. (8) and made a technical change, effective January 1, 2012; P.A. 11-242 redefined “employee” in Subdiv. (4), added new Subdiv. (5) defining “comprehensive background check”, redesignated existing Subdivs. (5) and (6) as Subdivs. (6) and (7), redefined “homemaker-companion agency” in said Subdiv. (7), added new Subdiv. (8) defining “registry” and redesignated existing Subdiv. (7) as Subdiv. (9), effective January 1, 2012.

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.)

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 submit to state and national criminal history records checks in accordance with section 29-17a and 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; P.A. 11-242, S. 92.)

History: June Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-3 amended Subsec. (b) to increase fee; P.A. 11-242 amended Subsec. (a) by requiring an applicant to submit to state and national criminal history records checks in accordance with Sec. 29-17a, effective January 1, 2012.

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.)

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.)

Sec. 20-675. Disciplinary actions against homemaker-companion agency. Grounds. Notice and hearing. (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; (2) engaging in any untruthful or misleading advertising; (3) failure of such agency that acts as a registry to comply with the notice requirements of section 20-679a; or (4) failing to perform a comprehensive background check of a prospective employee or maintain a copy of materials obtained during a comprehensive background check, as required by section 20-678.

(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; P.A. 11-230, S. 2; 11-242, S. 93.)

History: P.A. 11-230 amended Subsec. (a) by adding Subdiv. (3) re failure of agency that acts as registry to comply with notice requirements of Sec. 20-679a, effective January 1, 2012; P.A. 11-242 amended Subsec. (a) by adding provision, codified by the Revisors as Subdiv. (4), re failure to conduct or maintain copy of comprehensive background check, effective January 1, 2012.

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.)

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.

Sec. 20-678. Prospective employees required to submit to comprehensive background check. Written statements re prior criminal convictions or disciplinary action. Maintenance and inspection of records. On or after January 1, 2012, each homemaker-companion agency, prior to extending an offer of employment or entering into a contract with a prospective employee, shall require such prospective employee to submit to a comprehensive background check. In addition, each homemaker-companion agency shall require that such prospective employee complete and sign a form which contains questions as to whether the 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 prospective employee who makes a false written statement regarding such prior criminal convictions or disciplinary action shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor. Each homemaker-companion agency shall maintain a paper or electronic copy of any materials obtained during the comprehensive background check and shall make such records available for inspection upon request of the Department of Consumer Protection.

(P.A. 06-187, S. 60; P.A. 11-242, S. 94.)

History: P.A. 11-242 added provisions requiring prospective employees to submit to a comprehensive background check and sign a form re past criminal convictions and disciplinary action by licensing agencies, deleted provisions re employees hired on or after October 1, 2006, and added provision requiring homemaker-companion agencies to maintain background check records and make such records available for inspection by Department of Consumer Protection, effective January 1, 2012.

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.)

Sec. 20-679a. Written notice requirements for registries. (a) Not later than seven calendar days after the date on which a registry supplies, refers or places an individual with a consumer, the registry shall provide the consumer with a written notice, to be signed by the consumer, specifying the legal liabilities of such registry to the individual supplied or referred to or placed with the consumer. If the registry maintains an Internet web site, a sample of the notice shall be posted on such Internet web site.

(b) Each notice provided to a consumer pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall be written in plain language and shall comply with the plain language standard detailed in section 42-152. Such notice shall include a statement identifying the registry as an employer, joint employer, leasing employer or nonemployer, as applicable, along with a statement advising the consumer he or she may be considered an employer under law and, if that is the case, the consumer may be held responsible for the payment of federal and state taxes, Social Security, overtime and minimum wage, unemployment, workers’ compensation insurance payments and any other applicable payment required under state or federal law. The notice shall also include a statement that the consumer should consult a tax professional if he or she is uncertain about his or her responsibility for the payment of such taxes or payments.

(c) For purposes of this section, a homemaker-companion agency that supplies, refers or places an independent contractor with a consumer for the provision of companion or homemaker services shall be considered a registry, as defined in section 20-670, and shall be required to provide the consumer with a notice pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.

(P.A. 11-230, S. 3.)

History: P.A. 11-230 effective January 1, 2012.

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.)

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