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Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed a new law on February 13, 2020 which gives more protections to individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities.  Chapter 19 of the Acts of 2020 establishes a registry for caretakers in Massachusetts who have been found to have caused serious physical or emotional injury to people with disabilities.  The Disabled Persons Protection Commission is responsible for determining if a care provider’s name should be added to the registry based upon the weight of the evidence.  The Commission’s decision can be appealed to the Division of Administrative Law Appeals.  Subsequently, the Division’s decision can be subject to judicial review under Chapter 30A of the Mass. General Laws.  If a person’ name is on the registry, the Department of Developmental Services and employers are prohibited from hiring or utilizing the named individual.  The law prohibits the hiring or retaining of current and prospective care providers who do not provide consent to a registry inquiry.  The Commission can impose a monetary fine up to $5,000, and/or revoke or downgrade an employer’s license, and/or recommend the forfeiture of a state contract for employers who fail to comply with the law.  The law becomes effective on January 31, 2021.

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