In a move that will affect a number of franchise companies, yesterday California Governor Jerry Brown signed a new law that will require private home care agencies to become licensed in the State before providing service.
In addition to requiring licenses for home care organizations, the law requires individuals who provide services for those organizations -- called "home care aides" -- to be listed on California's home care aide registry.
To be listed, an individual must show that she or he is "of reputable and responsible character" and undergo a criminal background check.
A home care aide applicant also must acknowledge having read and understood California's laws that apply to people and companies private home care services. The full text of the bill is available here for review.
Governor Brown issued the following statement regarding the new law:
To the Members of the California State Assembly:
Assembly Bill 1217 would create a regulatory framework for the private homecare industry and home care aides.
Last year, I vetoed a more expansive bill, because I did not think that the time was right to create costly new regulatory burdens, given the economic uncertainty for many businesses and families in the homecare world.
I am signing AB 121 7 because it strikes a better balance between consumer protection and industry regulation, and because the author's office and legislative leadership have committed to delay the bill's effective date by one year to January 1, 2016.
The delay, coupled with other clarifying changes, will give the Department of Social Services enough time to accomplish what the bill seeks to achieve, and ultimately provide for smoother implementation of these good consumer protections.
Edmund G. Brown, Jr.
As stated in Governor Brown's explanation, the law will not be implemented until January 1, 2016.
Because the law will make important changes to the way these agencies are regulated, however, franchisors and franchisees that provide private home care services in California should familiarize themselves with the law and begin planning for compliance.