PA 11-230—sSB 911

General Law Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING HOMEMAKER SERVICES AND HOMEMAKER-COMPANION AGENCIES

SUMMARY: This act requires homemaker service and homemaker-companion agency registries to notify a consumer within seven days of providing a referral or placement, that he or she may be considered the employer of the homemaker or companion and thus responsible for withholding applicable taxes or making other payments.

The act allows the consumer protection commissioner to (1) revoke, suspend, or refuse to issue or renew a certificate of registration of a homemaker-companion agency; (2) place an agency on probation; or (3) issue a letter of reprimand for any agency, acting as a registry, that fails to comply with the notice requirement.

A homemaker-companion agency that supplies, refers, or places an independent contractor with a consumer is also considered a registry and must meet the act's notice requirement.

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2012

REGISTRY

Definition

The act defines a “registry” as 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 when the homemaker or companion is either (1) directly compensated, in whole or in part, by the consumer or (2) treated, referred to, or considered by the supplying person or entity as an independent contractor.

Notice Requirement

The act requires a registry to provide written notice to the consumer, specifying the registry's legal liabilities to the companion or homemaker. The registry must provide the notice for the consumer to sign within seven days after it supplies, refers, or places an individual with the consumer. If the registry maintains an Internet website, it must post a sample of the notice.

The notice must be written in plain language and include a statement identifying the registry as an employer, joint employer, leasing employer, or non-employer, as applicable. It must advise the consumer that he or she may be legally considered an employer. If such is the case, the consumer may be liable to withhold federal and state taxes, and to comply with labor laws regarding Social Security, overtime, minimum wage, unemployment and workers' compensation insurance payments, and any other applicable payment required under state or federal law. The notice must also include a statement that the consumer should consult with a tax professional if he or she is uncertain about his or her responsibility for these taxes or payments.

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