Substitute House Bill No. 5709
          Substitute House Bill No. 5709

              PUBLIC ACT NO. 98-133


AN  ACT  CONCERNING  THE MENTAL RETARDATION WORKER
REGISTRY AND APPEALS BY PROVIDERS.


    Be  it  enacted  by  the  Senate  and House of
Representatives in General Assembly convened:
    Section  1.  Section 156 of public act 97-2 of
the June 18 special session is  repealed  and  the
following is substituted in lieu thereof:
    As  used in sections 157 to 161, inclusive, of
[this act] PUBLIC ACT 97-2 OF THE JUNE 18  SPECIAL
SESSION:
    (1)  "Abuse" means the wilful infliction by an
employee of physical pain or injury or the  wilful
deprivation  of services necessary to the physical
and mental  health  and  safety  of  a  department
client.
    (2)   "Authorized  agency"  means  any  agency
authorized in accordance with the general statutes
to  conduct  abuse  and neglect investigations and
responsible for issuing or carrying out protective
services for persons with mental retardation.
    (3)  "Commissioner"  means the Commissioner of
Mental Retardation.
    (4)   "Department"  means  the  Department  of
Mental Retardation.
    (5)  "Department  client" means a person [with
mental retardation or a person]  who  IS  ELIGIBLE
FOR,  AND  receives  services or funding from, the
department.
    (6)  "Employee"  means any individual employed
(A) by  the  department,  or  (B)  by  an  agency,
organization  or  individual  that  is licensed or
funded by the department. [and  that  provides  or
hires  others to provide services, either directly
or indirectly, to a department client.]
    (7)  "Employer"  means  (A) the department, or
(B) an agency, organization or individual that  is
licensed  or  funded  by the department. [and that
provides or hires others to provide services to  a
department client.]
    (8)   "Neglect"   means   the  failure  by  an
employee, through action or inaction, to provide a
department  client  with the services necessary to
maintain  his  physical  and  mental  health   and
safety.
    (9)  "Protective  services"  has  the  meaning
assigned to it in section 46a-11a.
    (10)  "Registry" means a centralized data base
containing  information  regarding   substantiated
abuse or neglect.
    (11)  "Substantiated abuse or neglect" means a
[final decision,  pursuant  to  chapter  54  that]
DETERMINATION  BY  AN AUTHORIZED AGENCY, FOLLOWING
AN INVESTIGATION CONDUCTED OR  MONITORED  BY  SUCH
AGENCY,  THAT (A) abuse or neglect of a department
client has occurred,  or  (B)  there  has  been  a
criminal  conviction  of  a  felony or misdemeanor
involving abuse or neglect.
    Sec.  2. Section 157 of public act 97-2 of the
June  18  special  session  is  repealed  and  the
following is substituted in lieu thereof:
    (a)   The  Department  of  Mental  Retardation
shall  establish  and  maintain  a   registry   of
individuals  who have been terminated or separated
from employment as a result of substantiated abuse
or neglect. The department shall, for the purposes
of  maintaining  the  registry,  be   capable   of
responding  to  inquiries,  including  response by
telephone voice mail or other  automated  response
for initial inquiries, as to whether an individual
has been terminated or separated  from  employment
as a result of substantiated abuse or neglect.
    (b)  The  registry  shall  include, but not be
limited  to,  the  following:   (1)   The   names,
addresses  and  Social  Security  numbers of those
individuals   terminated   or    separated    from
employment  as  a result of substantiated abuse or
neglect;  (2)   the   date   of   termination   or
separation;  (3) the type of abuse or neglect; and
(4) the name of any employer or authorized  agency
requesting  information  from  the  registry,  the
reason  for  the  request  and  the  date  of  the
request.
    (c)  The  department shall make information in
the  registry,  other  than  limited   information
available  through  an  automated  response  to an
initial inquiry, available only to: (1) Authorized
agencies,  for  the  purpose of protective service
determinations;  or  (2)  employers  [seeking   to
employ a person] WHO EMPLOY INDIVIDUALS to provide
services to a department client.
    (d)  The  department  shall limit responses to
requests  for  identifying  information  from  the
registry  established  under  this  section to (1)
identification of  the  individual  terminated  or
separated  from employment for substantiated abuse
or neglect, and (2) the type of abuse  or  neglect
so substantiated.
    (e)  Not  later   than   five   business  days
following [an employee's termination or separation
from employment for  abuse  or neglect] RECEIPT OF
WRITTEN NOTIFICATION BY  AN  AUTHORIZED  AGENCY OF
THE  SUBSTANTIATION OF  ABUSE  OR  NEGLECT  BY  AN
EMPLOYEE WHO HAS BEEN TERMINATED OR SEPARATED FROM
EMPLOYMENT FOR SUCH  ABUSE OR NEGLECT, an employer
shall submit to  the  department  the name of such
employee  and  such   other   information  as  the
department   may   request.    Upon   receipt   of
notification of such  termination  or  separation,
the   department   shall    [make    an    initial
determination   as  to   whether   to   place   an
individual's name on  the  registry. If an initial
determination  warrants  placing  an  individual's
name on the  registry,  the  department shall give
the individual notice  and  an  opportunity  to be
heard and shall not place the individual's name on
the registry until  it has substantiated the abuse
or  neglect  pursuant   to  chapter  54  governing
contested cases] CONDUCT  A  HEARING IN ACCORDANCE
WITH  SECTIONS  4-177  TO  4-181a,  INCLUSIVE,  AS
AMENDED, GOVERNING CONTESTED CASES. THE DEPARTMENT
SHALL  NOT  PLACE  AN  INDIVIDUAL'S  NAME  ON  THE
REGISTRY UNTIL THE  DEPARTMENT  HAS  COMPLETED THE
HEARING AND THE HEARING HAS RESULTED IN A DECISION
TO PLACE THE INDIVIDUAL'S NAME ON THE REGISTRY.
    (f) THE DEPARTMENT  SHALL REMOVE AN EMPLOYEE'S
NAME FROM THE  REGISTRY  IF  AN  ARBITRATION  OR A
LEGAL PROCEEDING RESULTS  IN  A  FINDING  THAT THE
EMPLOYEE WAS UNFAIRLY TERMINATED FROM EMPLOYMENT.
    [(f)] (g) No  employer  shall be liable in any
civil action for damages brought by an employee or
an applicant for  employment whose name appears on
the registry established  by  this section arising
out of the  conduct  of the employer in (1) making
any report in  good  faith  pursuant to subsection
(e) of this  section, (2) testifying under oath in
any administrative or  judicial proceeding arising
from such report,  (3)  refusing  to  hire  or  to
retain any individual  whose  name  appears on the
registry established under  this  section,  or (4)
taking  any  other   action   to  conform  to  the
requirements  of  this   section.   The   immunity
provided in this  subsection  shall  not  apply to
gross   negligence  or   to   wilful   or   wanton
misconduct.
    Sec. 3. Section  158 of public act 97-2 of the
June  18  special  session  is  repealed  and  the
following is substituted in lieu thereof:
    [(a)] No employer  shall  hire  [or  retain an
individual   without  first   inquiring   of   the
department  as to  whether  the  individual's]  AN
INDIVIDUAL WHOSE name  appears on the registry and
no employer shall  [hire  or] retain an individual
[whose]   AFTER   RECEIVING    NOTICE    THAT   AN
INDIVIDUAL'S name so appears.
    [(b) No person shall inquire of the department
as to whether  an individual's name appears on the
registry except for  the purposes authorized under
subsection (c) of section 157 of this act.]
    Sec. 4. Section  160 of public act 97-2 of the
June  18  special  session  is  repealed  and  the
following is substituted in lieu thereof:
    The  Department of  Mental  Retardation  [may]
SHALL adopt regulations  in  accordance  with  the
provisions  of  chapter   54   to   implement  the
provisions of sections  156  to 160, inclusive, of
[this act] PUBLIC  ACT 97-2 OF THE JUNE 18 SPECIAL
SESSION, AS AMENDED BY THIS ACT.

Approved May 27, 1998