CHAPTER 201

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 385 AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 85, TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES, QUALITY IN HIRING, ADULT ABUSE REGISTRY, AND CHILD CARE AND HEALTH CARE FACILITIES.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend Chapter 85 of Title 11 of the Delaware Code by adding thereto a new section to read as follows:

"§8564. Adult Abuse Registry Check

(a) Definitions

(1) 'Person seeking Employment' means any person applying for employment in a health care facility or child care facility that affords direct access to persons receiving care at such a facility, or a person applying for licensure to operate a child care facility.

(2) 'Health Care Facility' means any custodial or residential facility where health, nutritional, or personal care is provided for persons, including nursing homes, hospitals, home health care agencies, and adult day care facilities.

(3) 'Child Care Facility' means any child care facility which is required to be licensed by the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families.

(4) 'Direct Access' means the opportunity to have personal contact with persons receiving care during the course of one's assigned duties.

(b) No employer who operates a health care facility or child care facility shall hire any person seeking employment without requesting and receiving an Adult Abuse Registry check for such person. For purposes of this subsection, the Adult Abuse Registry check shall relate to substantiated cases of adult abuse or neglect. The results shall be obtained from the Ombudsman's Office in the Department of Health and Social Services.

() Any employer who is required to request an Adult Abuse Registry check under this section shall obtain a statement signed by the person seeking employment wherein the person authorizes a full release for the employer to obtain the information provided pursuant to such a check.

() Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, when exigent circumstances exist which require an employer to fill a position in order to maintain the required or desired level of service, the employer may hire a person seeking employment on a conditional basis after the employer has requested an Adult Abuse Registry check. The employment of the person pursuant to this subsection shall be conditional and contingent upon the receipt of the Adult Abuse Registry check by the employer. Any person hired pursuant to this subsection shall be informed in writing, and shall acknowledge in writing, that his or her employment is conditional, and contingent upon receipt of the Adult Abuse Registry check.

(a) The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services shall promulgate regulations giving guidance for a procedure to notify employers of any relevant matters indicated in the Adult Abuse Registry Check.

(f) Cost associated with providing an Adult Abuse Registry check shall be borne by the State.

() Any employer who hires a person seeking employment without requesting and receiving an Adult Abuse Registry Check for such person shall be subject to a civil penalty or not less than $1,000.00 nor more than $5,000.00 for each violation."

Section 2. If any of the provisions of this Act or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the Act which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to that end, the provisions of this Act are declared to be severable.

Section 3. The Department of Labor shall promulgate regulations providing guidance to employers and applicants regarding the implementation of this Act.

Section 4. This Act shall become effective on January 1, 1998 with the exception of portions of this Act which give administrative agencies and/or bodies the authority to promulgate rules and regulation, which shall become effective immediately upon enactment.

Approved July 17, 1997