CHAPTER 400o
HOMEMAKER-COMPANION AGENCIES

Table of Contents

Sec. 20-670. Definitions.
Sec. 20-672. Application for registration. Fees. Failure to register.
Sec. 20-675. Disciplinary actions against homemaker-companion agency. Grounds. Notice and hearing.
Sec. 20-678. Prospective employees required to submit to comprehensive background check. Written statements re prior criminal convictions or disciplinary action. Maintenance and inspection of records.
Sec. 20-679a. Written notice requirements for registries.

      Sec. 20-670. Definitions. As used in sections 20-670 to 20-680, inclusive:

      (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.

      (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) "Comprehensive background check" means a background investigation of a prospective employee performed by a homemaker-companion agency, that includes: (A) A review of any application materials prepared or requested by the agency and completed by the prospective employee; (B) an in-person interview of the prospective employee; (C) verification of the prospective employee's Social Security number; (D) if the position applied for within the agency requires licensure on the part of the prospective employee, verification that the required license is in good standing; (E) a check of the registry established and maintained pursuant to section 54-257; (F) a review of criminal conviction information obtained through a search of current criminal matters of public record in this state based on the prospective employee's name and date of birth; (G) if the prospective employee has resided in this state less than three years prior to the date of the application with the agency, a review of criminal conviction information from the state or states where such prospective employee resided during such three-year period; and (H) a review of any other information that the agency deems necessary in order to evaluate the suitability of the prospective employee for the position.

      (6) "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.

      (7) "Homemaker-companion agency" means (A) any public or private organization that employs one or more persons and is engaged in the business of providing companion services or homemaker services, or (B) any registry. "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.

      (8) "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.

      (9) "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.

      (P.A. 06-187, S. 52; P.A. 11-230, S. 1; 11-242, S. 91.)

      History: P.A. 11-230 redefined "employee" in Subdiv. (4), added new Subdiv. (7) defining "registry", redesignated existing Subdiv. (7) as Subdiv. (8) and made a technical change, effective January 1, 2012; P.A. 11-242 redefined "employee" in Subdiv. (4), added new Subdiv. (5) defining "comprehensive background check", redesignated existing Subdivs. (5) and (6) as Subdivs. (6) and (7), redefined "homemaker-companion agency" in said Subdiv. (7), added new Subdiv. (8) defining "registry" and redesignated existing Subdiv. (7) as Subdiv. (9), effective January 1, 2012.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 20-672. Application for registration. Fees. Failure to register. (a) Any person seeking a certificate of registration as a homemaker-companion agency shall apply to the Commissioner of Consumer Protection, in writing, on a form provided by the commissioner. The application shall include the applicant's name, residence address, business address, business telephone number and such other information as the commissioner may require. An applicant shall also be required to submit to state and national criminal history records checks in accordance with section 29-17a and to certify under oath to the commissioner that: (1) Such agency complies with the requirements of section 20-678 concerning employee comprehensive background checks, (2) such agency provides all persons receiving homemaker or companion services with a written individualized contract or service plan that specifically identifies the anticipated scope, type, frequency and duration of homemaker or companion services provided by the agency to the person, (3) such agency maintains a surety bond, and (4) all records maintained by such agency shall be open, at all reasonable hours, for inspection, copying or audit by the commissioner.

      (b) Each application for a certificate of registration as a homemaker-companion agency shall be accompanied by a fee of three seventy-five hundred dollars.

      (c) Upon the failure by a homemaker-companion agency to comply with the registration provisions of this section, the Attorney General, at the request of the Commissioner of Consumer Protection, is authorized to apply in the name of the state of Connecticut to the Superior Court for an order temporarily or permanently restraining and enjoining a homemaker-companion agency from continuing to do business in the state.

      (P.A. 06-187, S. 54; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-3, S. 276; P.A. 11-242, S. 92.)

      History: June Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-3 amended Subsec. (b) to increase fee; P.A. 11-242 amended Subsec. (a) by requiring an applicant to submit to state and national criminal history records checks in accordance with Sec. 29-17a, effective January 1, 2012.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 20-675. Disciplinary actions against homemaker-companion agency. Grounds. Notice and hearing. (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; (2) engaging in any untruthful or misleading advertising; (3) failure of such agency that acts as a registry to comply with the notice requirements of section 20-679a; or (4) failing to perform a comprehensive background check of a prospective employee or maintain a copy of materials obtained during a comprehensive background check, as required by section 20-678.

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

      (P.A. 06-187, S. 58; P.A. 11-230, S. 2; 11-242, S. 93.)

      History: P.A. 11-230 amended Subsec. (a) by adding Subdiv. (3) re failure of agency that acts as registry to comply with notice requirements of Sec. 20-679a, effective January 1, 2012; P.A. 11-242 amended Subsec. (a) by adding provision, codified by the Revisors as Subdiv. (4), re failure to conduct or maintain copy of comprehensive background check, effective January 1, 2012.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 20-678. Prospective employees required to submit to comprehensive background check. Written statements re prior criminal convictions or disciplinary action. Maintenance and inspection of records. On or after January 1, 2012, each homemaker-companion agency, prior to extending an offer of employment or entering into a contract with a prospective employee, shall require such prospective employee to submit to a comprehensive background check. In addition, each homemaker-companion agency shall require that such prospective employee complete and sign a form which contains questions as to whether the prospective employee was convicted of a crime involving violence or dishonesty in a state court or federal court in any state; or was subject to any decision imposing disciplinary action by a licensing agency in any state, the District of Columbia, a United States possession or territory or a foreign jurisdiction. Any prospective employee who makes a false written statement regarding such prior criminal convictions or disciplinary action shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor. Each homemaker-companion agency shall maintain a paper or electronic copy of any materials obtained during the comprehensive background check and shall make such records available for inspection upon request of the Department of Consumer Protection.

      (P.A. 06-187, S. 60; P.A. 11-242, S. 94.)

      History: P.A. 11-242 added provisions requiring prospective employees to submit to a comprehensive background check and sign a form re past criminal convictions and disciplinary action by licensing agencies, deleted provisions re employees hired on or after October 1, 2006, and added provision requiring homemaker-companion agencies to maintain background check records and make such records available for inspection by Department of Consumer Protection, effective January 1, 2012.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 20-679a. Written notice requirements for registries. (a) Not later than seven calendar days after the date on which a registry supplies, refers or places an individual with a consumer, the registry shall provide the consumer with a written notice, to be signed by the consumer, specifying the legal liabilities of such registry to the individual supplied or referred to or placed with the consumer. If the registry maintains an Internet web site, a sample of the notice shall be posted on such Internet web site.

      (b) Each notice provided to a consumer pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall be written in plain language and shall comply with the plain language standard detailed in section 42-152. Such notice shall include a statement identifying the registry as an employer, joint employer, leasing employer or nonemployer, as applicable, along with a statement advising the consumer he or she 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. The notice shall also include a statement that the consumer should consult a tax professional if he or she is uncertain about his or her responsibility for the payment of such taxes or payments.

      (c) For purposes of this section, a homemaker-companion agency that supplies, refers or places an independent contractor with a consumer for the provision of companion or homemaker services shall be considered a registry, as defined in section 20-670, and shall be required to provide the consumer with a notice pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.

      (P.A. 11-230, S. 3.)

      History: P.A. 11-230 effective January 1, 2012.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)