Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 5456

February Session, 2014

 

LCO No. 1924

 

*01924_______PH_*

Referred to Committee on PUBLIC HEALTH

 

Introduced by:

 

(PH)

 

AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEPARTMENT OF DEVELOPMENTAL SERVICES ABUSE AND NEGLECT REGISTRY.

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

Section 1. Section 17a-247b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2014):

(a) The Department of Developmental Services shall establish and maintain a registry of [individuals] former employees 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 in accordance with subsection (c) of this section as to whether [an individual] a former employee has been terminated or separated from employment as a result of substantiated abuse or neglect. Such capability may include response by telephone voice mail or other automated response for initial inquiries.

(b) The registry shall include, but not be limited to, the following: (1) The names, addresses and Social Security numbers of those [individuals] former employees 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 available only to: (1) Authorized agencies, for the purpose of protective service determinations; (2) employers who employ [individuals] employees to provide services to [a department client] an individual who receives services or funding from the department; (3) the Departments of Children and Families and Mental Health and Addiction Services, for the purpose of determining whether an applicant for employment appears on the registry; or (4) charitable organizations [which] that recruit volunteers to support programs for persons with intellectual disability or autism spectrum disorder, upon application to and approval by the commissioner, for purposes of conducting background checks on such volunteers.

(d) The department shall limit responses to requests for identifying information from the registry established under this section to (1) identification of the [individual] former employee 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 receipt of written notification by an authorized agency of the substantiation of abuse or neglect by [an] a former 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 former employee and such other information as the department may request. Upon receipt of notification of such termination or separation, the department shall conduct a hearing in accordance with sections 4-177 to 4-181a, inclusive, governing contested cases. The department shall not place [an individual's] a former employee'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] former employee's name on the registry.

(f) The department shall remove [an] a former employee's name from the registry if an arbitration or a legal proceeding results in a finding that the former employee was unfairly terminated from employment.

(g) No employer shall be liable in any civil action for damages brought by an employee, former 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] person 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. 2. Section 17a-247c of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2014):

(a) No employer shall hire [an individual] a person whose name appears on the registry and no employer shall retain an [individual] employee after receiving notice that [an individual's] his or her name so appears.

(b) The department shall, on at least a semiannual basis, issue a notice to employers containing the name of each [individual] former employee placed on the registry and the identifying information pertaining to such [individual] former employee as provided in subsection (d) of section 17a-247b, as amended by this act.

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

Section 1

October 1, 2014

17a-247b

Sec. 2

October 1, 2014

17a-247c

Statement of Purpose:

To make the Department of Developmental Services abuse and neglect registry information available to organizations that recruit volunteers to support programs for persons with autism spectrum disorder and to make technical changes.

[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.]