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Protection Duplicated

Wendy Simons

...Every two years our legislature meets to craft new consumer protection laws. This past session a classic example of duplication of effort became evident.  The intent was noble and the discussions worthy with the end result ultimately providing additional protection for the safety of our seniors. It is curious to note, however that minimal attention was paid to the possibility of duplication.

...Here is the item. AB 352, amending NRS 118A.335 (for those of you who like to research law) takes effect July 12, 2007 and “requires persons employed in dwelling units that are intended and operated for persons over the age of 55, who work over 36 hours per week, and have access to all dwelling units to perform work, obtain a work permit from the Sheriff’s Office in the County where they are employed.”This would basically dictate that senior apartments, senior retirement communities, and residential care facilities/assisted living facilities must obtain a fingerprint background check for the above employees and be issued a Sheriff’s Work Permit.

...The duplication is, NRS 449 facilities for the dependant statutes require in their regulations under NAC 449.156 to 449.267 also requires criminal background checks be conducted through the fingerprint process for all residential care facilities/assisted living facilities.

...Those who have contacted the Bureau of Licensure and Certification, who regulate the residential c/assisted living facilities have been advised that the BLC only enforces the NRS statute and regulations.  Additionally, those who have contacted the local Sheriff’s departments have been told this new requirement is under their laws and regulations.

...With the simplest of interpretations applied, it seems currently licensed care facilities will have to duplicate the background checks with two entities. I have contacted one of our legislators for an interpretation. I’ll keep you posted.  Meanwhile, who will absorb the cost? Most likely, the seniors. Is protection worth it? Most certainly, but that leaves the final question- is it predictable that an individual who works only 30 hours is less likely to have a criminal background that should be checked?

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