Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 911

January Session, 2011

 

LCO No. 2914

 

*02914_______GL_*

Referred to Committee on General Law

 

Introduced by:

 

(GL)

 

AN ACT CONCERNING HOMEMAKER SERVICES AND HOMEMAKER-COMPANION AGENCIES.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 20-670 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective January 1, 2012):

As used in sections 20-670 to 20-680, inclusive, as amended by this act:

(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, as amended by this act.

(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) "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) "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.

[(7)] (8) "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.

Sec. 2. Section 20-675 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective January 1, 2012):

(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; or (3) failure of such agency that acts as a registry to comply with the notice requirements of sections 3 and 4 of this act.

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

Sec. 3. (NEW) (Effective January 1, 2012) (a) A registry shall provide each consumer with a notice specifying the duties, responsibilities, obligations and legal liabilities of such registry to the individual supplied or referred to or placed with the consumer and to the consumer. The notice shall be given to the consumer before the commencement of services. If the registry maintains an Internet web site, a sample of the notice shall be posted on such Internet web site.

(b) The notice to the consumer shall be in a form approved by the commissioner and shall include, at a minimum, the following information:

(1) The consumer's responsibility for:

(A) Day-to-day supervision of the employee,

(B) Assigning duties to the employee,

(C) Hiring, firing and discipline of the employee,

(D) Provision of equipment or materials for use by the employee,

(E) Performing a comprehensive background check on the employee, and

(F) Ensuring credentials and appropriate certification of the employee.

(2) A statement identifying the registry as an employer, joint employer, leasing employer or nonemployer, as applicable, along with the responsibility the registry will assume for the payment of wages, taxes, Social Security, overtime and minimum wage, workers' compensation and unemployment compensation insurance payments and any other applicable payment required under state or federal law.

(3) A statement that, regardless of the registry's status, the consumer 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.

(4) The telephone number and address of the commissioner, in the event the consumer has questions concerning the content of the notice.

(c) A registry's failure to give the notice required pursuant to subsection (a) of this section to a consumer shall not relieve the consumer of any of his or her duties or obligations as an employer. In the event a registry fails to give such notice to the consumer and the consumer is later held liable to the employee for payment of wages, taxes, workers' compensation or unemployment compensation, the consumer shall have a right of indemnification against the registry, which shall include, but not be limited to, the actual amounts paid to or on behalf of the employee, as well as the consumer's attorneys' fees and costs.

Sec. 4. (NEW) (Effective January 1, 2012) (a) A registry shall provide each individual supplied or referred to or placed with a consumer with a notice that sets out such individual's legal relationship with the registry and the consumer. The notice shall be given to such individual upon being recruited by the registry. If the registry maintains an Internet web site, a sample of the notice shall be posted on such Internet web site.

(b) The notice to the individual shall be in a form approved by the commissioner, and shall include, at a minimum, the following information:

(1) The duties, responsibilities, obligations and legal liabilities of the registry to the consumer and the individual. Such description shall include the following information:

(A) A statement as to the party responsible for the payment of the individual's wages, taxes, Social Security, unemployment and workers' compensation insurance,

(B) A statement identifying which party will be responsible for the individual's hiring, firing, discipline, day-to-day supervision, assignment of duties and provision of equipment or materials for use by the individual, and

(C) A statement that, under state and federal law, an individual treated as an independent contractor may enjoy less protection than one who is treated as an employee.

(2) The telephone number and address of the commissioner, in the event the individual has questions concerning the content of the notice.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

January 1, 2012

20-670

Sec. 2

January 1, 2012

20-675

Sec. 3

January 1, 2012

New section

Sec. 4

January 1, 2012

New section

Statement of Purpose:

To protect homemaker services' workers and consumers.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]