Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB3977
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Full Text of HB3977  102nd General Assembly


Rep. Lindsey LaPointe

Filed: 3/1/2022





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2    AMENDMENT NO. ______. Amend House Bill 3977, AS AMENDED,
3by replacing everything after the enacting clause with the
5    "Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the First
6Responders Behavioral Healthcare Bill of Rights Act.
7    Section 5. Purposes. The General Assembly recognizes the
8difficult nature of the job of first responder, including
9trauma endured by first responders in the performance of their
10duties. It is the intent of the General Assembly to ensure that
11first responders, including police, firefighters, emergency
12medical technicians, and public safety telecommunicators
13across this State, have full access to supportive and
14responsive behavioral health services and treatment. The
15General Assembly recognizes that these services should be
16responsive to the individual's needs and must be kept



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1confidential. The General Assembly recognizes that the
2administration and provision of these services both recognize
3and reduce the historical barrier of stigma and a lack of
4confidentiality that first responders face when attempting to
5access behavioral health services and treatment.
6    Section 10. Definitions. In this Act:
7    "Behavioral health" means mental health, health relating
8to substance use, or both.
9    "Behavioral healthcare" means services, treatment,
10medication, and other measures to overcome, mitigate, or
11prevent a behavioral health issue. Such services, treatment,
12medication, and other measures qualify as "behavioral
13healthcare" even if there is no formal diagnosis of a specific
15    "Employee" includes a first responder employed by a unit
16of local government, school district, public or private
17hospital, board, or ambulance service.
18    "Employer" means a unit of local government, a school
19district, board, or a public or private hospital or ambulance
20service that employs first responders.
21    "First responder" means a law enforcement officer, fireman
22as defined in Article 6 of the Illinois Pension Code,
23emergency medical technician (EMT) as defined in Section 3.50
24of the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Systems Act, or public
25safety telecommunicator as defined in Section 2 of the



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1Emergency Telephone Systems Act.
2    "Patient" means:
3        (1) a person who is admitted as an inpatient or
4    resident of a public or private mental health facility for
5    mental health treatment under Chapter III of the Mental
6    Health and Developmental Disabilities Code as an informal
7    admission, a voluntary admission, a minor admission, an
8    emergency admission, or an involuntary admission, unless
9    the treatment was solely for an alcohol abuse disorder; or
10        (2) a person who voluntarily or involuntarily receives
11    mental health treatment as an outpatient or is otherwise
12    provided services by a public or private mental health
13    facility, and who poses a clear and present danger to
14    oneself or to others.
15    "Record" means any record kept by a therapist or by an
16agency in the course of providing behavioral health services
17to a first responder concerning the first responder and the
18services provided. "Record" includes the personal notes of the
19therapist or agency. "Record" includes all records maintained
20by a court that have been created in connection with, in
21preparation for, or as a result of the filing of any petition
22or certificate under Chapter II, Chapter III, or Chapter IV of
23the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code and
24includes the petitions, certificates, dispositional reports,
25treatment plans, and reports of diagnostic evaluations and of
26hearings under Article VIII of Chapter III or under Article V



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1of Chapter IV of that Code. "Record" does not include
2information that has been deidentified in accordance with
3HIPAA, as specified in 45 CFR 164.514. "Record" does not
4include a reference to the receipt of behavioral health
5services noted during a patient history and physical or other
6summary of care.
7    "Substance use" means the ingestion of one or more of the
8following: alcohol; caffeine; cannabis; hallucinogens;
9inhalants; opioids; sedatives, hypnotics, and anxiolytics;
10stimulants; tobacco; and other unknown intoxicating substances
11that the employee reasonably believes is interfering, or could
12interfere, either directly or indirectly, with the performance
13the employee's job duties.
14    Section 15. Rights to behavioral healthcare.
15    (a) First responders have the following rights:
16        (1) The right of full access to behavioral health
17    services and treatment that are responsive to the needs of
18    the individual and the professions of police, emergency
19    medical technician (EMT), firefighter, and public safety
20    telecommunicator.
21        (2) The right to seek, or access if required or
22    requested, services and treatment for behavioral health
23    needs without fear of repercussions by the employer or
24    supervisor and without fear of reprisal.
25        (3) The right, in the course of seeking services and



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1    treatment for behavioral health, that all records, notes,
2    and conclusions by the treatment provider shall not be
3    shared with an employer unless otherwise mandated by law.
4        (4) The right of an employee not to be compelled by the
5    employer under the threat of discipline to release any
6    records related to behavioral health.
7        (5) The right to have behavioral health records not be
8    used in any disciplinary or other proceeding against the
9    employee. If the employee waives the rights under this
10    paragraph, the employee retains the right to set the scope
11    of records that can be used in any disciplinary or other
12    proceeding against the employee, including, but not
13    limited to, treatment dates, facilities, actual or
14    suspected diagnoses, and program completion status.
15        The employee's records from a fitness for duty exam
16    related to the employee's behavioral health shall only be
17    used in a determination or proceeding against the employee
18    if the fitness for duty exam was ordered in connection
19    with that determination or proceeding.
20        (6) The right of an employee to seek treatment in any
21    geographic area without restrictions or limitations
22    imposed by the employer.
23        (7) The right to have behavioral health services and
24    treatment in a manner that reduces barriers to those
25    services and treatment.
26        (8) The right to have the employer destroy and



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1    disregard any behavioral health records that the employer
2    obtained pursuant to the employee's unsuccessful pursuit
3    of benefits under workers' compensation, pensions, and
4    other programs.
5    If a first responder waives any rights under this
6subsection, the right shall only be deemed waived to the
7extent specified by the first responder.
8    (b) The rights guaranteed to first responders in
9subsection (a) are judicially enforceable. An aggrieved
10employee may, under the Civil Practice Law, bring an action
11for damages, attorney's fees, or injunctive relief against an
12employer for violating subsection (a).
13    (c) An employee who seeks behavioral health services or
14treatment because of the use of an illicit substance is not
15subject to discipline by his or her employer for the use of the
16illicit substance unless a criminal act was carried out as a
17consequence of using that illicit substance.
18    (d) An employer is responsible for the costs of any
19behavioral health services and treatment obtained by an
20employee under this Act.".