State of Illinois
2021 and 2022


Introduced 3/4/2021, by Rep. Lindsey LaPointe - Dave Vella and Frances Ann Hurley


New Act

    Creates the First Responders Behavioral Healthcare Bill of Rights Act. Provides that first responders have certain specified statutory rights in seeking behavioral health services and treatment. Provides that the rights guaranteed to first responders in these provisions are judicially enforceable. Provides that an aggrieved employee may, under the Civil Practice Law, bring an action for damages, attorney's fee, or injunctive relief against an employer for violating these rights. Defines various terms.

LRB102 15075 RLC 20430 b






HB3977LRB102 15075 RLC 20430 b

1    AN ACT concerning health.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the First
5Responders Behavioral Healthcare Bill of Rights Act.
6    Section 5. Purposes. The General Assembly recognizes the
7difficult nature of the job of first responder, including
8trauma endured by first responders in the performance of their
9duties. It is the intent of the General Assembly to ensure that
10first responders, including police, firefighters, and
11emergency medical technicians across this State have full
12access to supportive and responsive behavioral health services
13and treatment. The General Assembly recognizes that these
14services should be responsive to the individual's needs and
15must be kept confidential. The General Assembly recognizes
16that the administration and provision of these services both
17recognize and reduce the historical barrier of stigma and a
18lack of confidentiality that first responders face when
19attempting to access behavioral health services and treatment.
20    Section 10. Definitions. In this Act:
21    "Behavioral health" or "behavioral healthcare" means both
22mental health, substance use disorder, or both, co-occurring



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2    "Employee" means a first responder employed by a unit of
3State or local government or school district or by a public or
4private hospital or ambulance service.
5    "Employer" means the State, a unit of local government, a
6school district, or a public or private hospital or ambulance
7service that employs first responders.
8    "First responder" means a law enforcement officer or
9fireman as defined in Section 2 of the Line of Duty
10Compensation Act or an "emergency medical technician (EMT)" as
11defined in Section 3.50 of the Emergency Medical Services
12(EMS) Systems Act.
13    "Substance use disorder" has the meaning ascribed to it in
14Section 1-10 of the Substance Use Disorder Act.
15    Section 15. First responders rights to behavioral
17    (a) First responders have the following rights:
18        (1) The right of full access to behavioral health
19    services and treatment that are responsive to the needs of
20    the individual and the professions of police and
21    firefighter.
22        (2) The right to seek, or access if required or
23    requested, services and treatment for behavioral health
24    needs without fear of repercussions by his or her employer
25    or supervisor and without fear of reprisal.



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1        (3) The right, in the course of seeking services and
2    treatment for behavioral health, that all records, notes,
3    and conclusions by the treatment provider shall not be
4    shared with an employer unless otherwise mandated by law.
5    The right guaranteed by this paragraph (3) may be waived
6    by the employee.
7        (4) The right of first responder employees not to be
8    compelled by their employer under the threat of discipline
9    to release any records related to behavioral health.
10        (5) The right to have behavioral health records not be
11    used in any disciplinary or other proceeding against an
12    employee.
13        (6) The right of employees to seek treatment in any
14    geographic area without restrictions or limitations
15    imposed by the employer.
16        (7) The right to have behavioral health services and
17    treatment in a manner that reduces stigma and barriers to
18    those services and treatment.
19    (b) The rights guaranteed to first responders in
20subsection (a) are judicially enforceable. An aggrieved
21employee may, under the Civil Practice Law, bring an action
22for damages, attorney's fee, or injunctive relief against an
23employer for violating subsection (a).