LANSING – State Representative Henry Yanez (D-Sterling Heights) introduced a package of bills recently 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 providing services to.
“My bills will update Lisa’s Law and expand on its original intent by covering all in-home health care workers along with DHS workers, as well as provide additional protections for the clients they serve,” said Yanez. “These workers sometimes go into volatile, emotionally charged home situations. They, and the families they are serving, need to know that there are laws that protect them.”
The package of bills will:
Expand protections to all in-home health care workers.
Increase penalties for threatening/assaulting/seriously or mortally injuring an in-home health care worker to those penalties for committing similar crimes against first responders.
Enable in-home health care workers to use better self-defense protections as long as they pass a DHS approved and/or provided safety training course.
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 DHS workers. Yanez said that expanding the law now makes sense as more and more services are provided by organizations and businesses and not just state agencies. These bills also address the protections for clients by requiring that background checks be done by the agencies who hire in-home health care workers.
“I am glad to see that Rep. Yanez is stepping forward and expanding this law to create more protection for these workers and the clients they serve,” said Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel. “Now it’s time to take the next step and protect all of our in-home health care workers who provide these critically needed services in our communities.”
“These are common-sense bills that Rep. Yanez has sponsored and they will give me and my deputies the tools to do our jobs better,” said Macomb County Sheriff Anthony M. Wickersham. “I worked on the tragic case involving Ms. Putman. I agree with both County Executive Hackel and Rep. Yanez that it’s time to expand the reach of Lisa’s Law.”
“I appreciate the support of my Macomb County colleagues, and I look forward to working with my House colleagues on both sides of the aisle to approve these home health care worker safety bills and get them to the governor’s desk to be signed into law,” said Yanez.