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The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

AN ACT AUTHORIZING THE DEPARTMENT OF ELDER AFFAIRS TO ESTABLISH A HOME CARE WORKER REGISTRY

Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to establish forthwith a home care worker registry, therefore it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public convenience.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

SECTION 1.  Chapter 19A of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 4C the following section:-

Section 4D.  (a) As used in this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly requires otherwise:

“Employee organization”, a labor union or other organization, agency or employee representation committee, association, group or plan in which employees participate and which exists in whole or in part to deal with employers concerning matters incidental to employment relationships.

“Home care worker”, a person employed by a home care worker agency to provide personal care, homemaker, companion or chore services under the home care program established in section 4.

“Home care worker agency”, an entity employing home care workers to provide services under the home care program established in section 4 that is under contract with an aging services access point established in section 4B.

(b)  The department shall establish and maintain a home care worker registry for home care workers employed by a home care worker agency.

A home care worker agency shall report the required home care worker registry information for each home care worker it employs on a paid, unpaid, temporary or permanent basis who is not exempt from the reporting requirement. Any exemptions from reporting shall be established in regulations promulgated by the department; provided, however, that the regulations shall include, but not be limited to, exemptions for victims of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault or stalking.

The department shall collect the following reported information concerning each home care worker: (i) the worker’s full name; (ii) their assigned unique identification number; (iii) their gender; (iv) their home address; (v) their mailing address; (vi) the full legal name of any home care worker agency employing the home care worker; (vii) the worker’s job title; and (viii) a list of home care trainings or certifications completed by the home care worker.

Reported information for each employed home care worker shall be submitted and regularly updated by each home care worker agency subject to this section. The registry shall be updated at least quarterly. A home care worker agency shall collect and maintain the required information and submit updated information in a timely manner as determined by the department. A home care worker shall not be responsible for any costs related to the registry.

The department shall only make a home care worker’s full name, identification number, name of any home care worker agency employing the home care worker and a list of home care trainings or certifications completed by the home care worker available to the public unless such information is exempt from disclosure by the department. Upon request from an employee organization, home care worker agency or aging services access point, the department shall provide all reported information to such entity.

The department shall promulgate rules and regulations and shall provide such forms and notifications as may be necessary to implement this section; provided, however, that the department shall minimize any duplicate reporting that may be required of a home care agency.

         SECTION 2.  This act shall take effect as of July 1, 2017. 

Approved, November 24, 2017.