SB 718
Modifies provisions relating to the Department of Mental Health Employment Disqualification Registry
LR Number:
Last Action:
4/3/2012 - Voted Do Pass S Health, Mental Health, Seniors and Families Committee
Journal Page:
Calendar Position:
Effective Date:
August 28, 2012

Current Bill Summary

SB 718 - This act modifies provisions relating to the Department of Mental Health Employment Disqualification Registry (EDR).

This act provides uniformity to all of the provisions relating to the EDR by specifying that such provisions apply to the following mental health facilities: any public or private facility, day program, residential facility, or specialized service operated, licensed, certified, accredited, in possession of deemed status or funded by the Department of Mental Health by or to any mental health facility or mental health program in which people are admitted on a voluntary or involuntary basis or are civilly detained.

Current law requires the person disqualified from employment under the EDR to seek an exception to the disqualification through a written request to the director of the department no more than once every twelve months. This act changes the time line to no more than once every six months.

Any person placed on the EDR prior to August 28, 2012, may be removed from the registry by the director or designee if the in the judgment of the director or designee a clear showing has been made, by written submission only, that the person will not commit any additional acts for which the person had originally been disqualified for or any other acts that would be harmful to a patient, resident, or client of a facility, program, or service.

Current law requires an applicant for a direct care position in any of the named mental health facilities to sign certain consent forms for a criminal record review and to disclose previous employment disqualifications. This act no longer restricts the requirement to just direct care positions.

Mental health facilities or mental health programs in which people are admitted on a voluntary basis or are civilly detained are included amongst the list of other Department of Mental Health facilities who are required to request a criminal background check and to check the employee disqualification registries from the Department of Mental Health, Department of Health and Senior Services and Department of Social Services for new employees who will have contact with clients, residents or patients. Any of these facilities that decline to employ or discharge a person who is disqualified under the provisions of this act shall be immune from suit by that person for the failure to employ or for the discharge of the person due to disqualification.

A provider is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor if the provider hires a person to hold any position knowing that such person has been disqualified under the provisions of this act.

Any employer who is required to discharge an employee because the employee was placed on the EDR after the date of hire shall not be charged for unemployment insurance benefits based on wages paid to the employee for work prior to the date of discharge.

Under current law, the Department of Mental Health is allowed to maintain the EDR. This act requires the department to do so. This act specifies the procedures for appealing a decision to have an employee placed on the EDR as well as delineating how the department determines the length of time the person's name shall appear on the EDR.

The department shall provide the EDR to other state and federal agencies upon request. The department may also provide the EDR to any of the mental health facilities falling under this act. The department may also provide the EDR to a recognized school of nursing, medicine, or other health profession for the purpose of determining whether students scheduled to participate in clinical rotations are included in the EDR.

This act is identical to a provision in SS/HB 1318 (2012).