Elizabeth Dugan, Prince William County CS
oppoistion to 12 VAC35-105
Prince William County CS is opposed to the proposed regulations for several reasons.
The terms "character, ability and fitness for duty" are extremely subjective and mean different things to different organizations. Unless there is clarity as to the definitions of these terms provided by DBHDS they are meaningless from one organization to another.
Our County policy is to stay away from providing any information as part of a reference that is subjective in nature and only provide facts in relation to a person's prior employment to avoid potential arguments that a reference was provided in bad faith
DBHDS should have the information available to them if an employee was involved in a human rights violation or abuse, neglect, exploitation event per the CHRIS database. It seems to us that a potential employer could run that name through DBHDS to see if the employee is flagged in some why without putting the onus on prior employers. There are numerous new employees within the incident management section of licensing who should be able to quickly provide this information to prior employers. This seems as if DBHDS is yet again pushing an activity that they should do (maintaining a list of employees unable to work for a licenses provider in the state of Virginia -- similar to the federal LEIE database).
While VA code says employers are immune from civil liability for furnishing information regarding professional conduct that doesn't stop former employees from attempting to sue a former employer for not getting a job based on a "written" reference and then claiming that it was provided in bad faith especially if the litigant sees deep pockets such as with a County entity. Additionally, while the code indicates that organizations are exempt from immunity it is not clear as to whether the exemptions cover the individual tasked with the reference and or the potential use of federal statutes to pursue litigation.