LANSING — State Rep. Henry Yanez (D-Sterling Heights) introduced a package of bills today that will expand the provisions of “Lisa’s Law” and give greater protection to all home health care workers. Lisa’s Law was passed after Macomb County Child Protective Services Worker Lisa Putman was murdered in 1998 by members of a family she was visiting and to whom she was providing services.
“We are approaching the twentieth anniversary of the senseless and tragic death of Lisa Putman,” said Yanez. “We have not forgotten her story, and we will not forget her sacrifice. Her spirit lives on in this legislation.”
The package of bills will:
- Expand protections to all in-home health care workers
- Increase penalties for threatening, assaulting, or seriously or mortally injuring an in-home health care worker to those penalties for committing similar crimes against first responders
- Provide in-home health care workers with better self-defense protections as long as they pass a training course provided or approved by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
- Require employers to conduct background checks on an employee before they provide services in the home of a client
Lisa’s Law currently only covers DHHS workers. Yanez said that expanding the law now makes sense, as more and more services are provided by organizations and businesses, not just state agencies. These bills also protect clients by requiring that background checks are done by the agencies who hire in-home health care workers.
“These workers sometimes go into volatile, emotionally charged home situations,” said Yanez. “The service they are performing for us as a society is immeasurable. One of the key ways we can express our gratitude is by ensuring they’re safe while working. They and the families they are serving need to know that there are laws that protect them.”