Provides civil immunity for certain employers who provide information relating to a former employee to a prospective employer, nursing home or elder care facility unless such information is knowingly false or misleading or violates a state or federal law.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the civil rights law, in relation to employer reference immunity
PURPOSE: To provide for immunity for employers of nursing homes and elder care facilities that provide information about a former employee to a prospective employer.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Amends the Civil Rights Law by adding a new section 79-o which states, "An employer of a nursing home or health care facility may disclose any information about a former employee to the former employee's prospective employer." An employer who discloses information under this section in good faith shall be immune from any civil liability for the disclosure. However, if evidence is established that the information the former employer gave was knowingly false by said employer to the prospective employer about the former employee, a civil liability will be upheld.
JUSTIFICATION: This act will give immunity to health care or nursing home employers who are asked about a former employee's work history. In some cases former employees who have documented occurrences in their personal record of physical, mental and sexual abuse unbeknownst to the prospective employer who are about to employ the former employee. In other instances the clients of the nursing home or elder care facility are either embarrassed, too scared or mentally not capable to press criminal charges and thus the employee is "let go" to prey on more victims at other nursing homes and elder care facilities.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: S.315/A.531 of 2009/2010; Referred to Senate Codes Committee S.110/A.997 of 2007/2008; Referred to Senate Codes Committee S.1167/A.6000 of 2005/06; Referred to Senate Codes Committee S.6637/A.10104 of 2003/2004; Referred to Senate Codes Committee
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 238 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 5, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. MAZIARZ -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes AN ACT to amend the civil rights law, in relation to employer reference immunity THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The civil rights law is amended by adding a new section 79-o to read as follows: S 79-O. EMPLOYER REFERENCE IMMUNITY. 1. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, THE FOLLOWING TERMS SHALL HAVE THE FOLLOWING MEANINGS: (A) "EMPLOYEE" MEANS AN INDIVIDUAL WHO AS A VOLUNTEER OR FOR COMPEN- SATION PROVIDES LABOR IN A NURSING HOME OR OTHER ELDER CARE FACILITY. (B) "EMPLOYER" MEANS A NURSING HOME OR OTHER ELDER CARE FACILITY WHO EMPLOYS AN INDIVIDUAL FOR COMPENSATION OR WHO SUPERVISES AN INDIVIDUAL PROVIDING LABOR AS A VOLUNTEER. (C) "PROSPECTIVE EMPLOYER" MEANS A NURSING HOME OR OTHER ELDER CARE FACILITY TO WHOM AN EMPLOYEE OR FORMER EMPLOYEE HAS SUBMITTED AN APPLI- CATION FOR EMPLOYMENT. 2. A NURSING HOME OR OTHER ELDER CARE FACILITY, MAY DISCLOSE TO AN EMPLOYEE OR THAT INDIVIDUAL'S PROSPECTIVE EMPLOYER INFORMATION RELATING TO THE INDIVIDUAL'S JOB PERFORMANCE THAT IS DOCUMENTED IN THE INDIVID- UAL'S PERSONNEL FILE UPON THE REQUEST OF THE INDIVIDUAL OR HIS OR HER PROSPECTIVE EMPLOYER. AN EMPLOYER WHO DISCLOSES INFORMATION UNDER THIS SECTION IN GOOD FAITH IS IMMUNE FROM CIVIL LIABILITY FOR THE DISCLOSURE. AN EMPLOYER IS PRESUMED TO BE ACTING IN GOOD FAITH AT THE TIME OF A DISCLOSURE UNDER THIS SECTION UNLESS A PREPONDERANCE OF THE EVIDENCE ESTABLISHES ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING: (A) THAT THE EMPLOYER KNEW THE INFORMATION DISCLOSED WAS FALSE OR MISLEADING,EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD01368-01-1 S. 238 2
(B) THAT THE EMPLOYER DISCLOSED THE INFORMATION WITH A RECKLESS DISRE- GARD FOR THE TRUTH, (C) THAT THE DISCLOSURE WAS SPECIFICALLY PROHIBITED BY A STATE OR FEDERAL STATUTE. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.