What the bill does:
Directs Attorney General to file suit in circuit court on behalf of employees of Department of Human
Services (DHS) in certain cases of threat to personal safety. Creates Task Force on Safety for Child
Welfare Employees staffed by DHS. Outlines membership, objectives and process. Requires report to
legislature by September 15, 2016. Declares emergency, effective on passage.
The number and severity of threats made against front-line employees of the Department of Human
Services (DHS) has reportedly increased in recent years, particularly for child welfare workers. There
are ways that DHS can and does support threatened employees; however, there are situations that
call for further legal action. To proceed with further legal action, a DHS case worker is currently
personally responsible for retaining legal counsel if they wish, and for paying associated costs.
House Bill 3391 allows the Department of Justice to provide legal assistance to DHS employees
when their personal safety is threated as a result of their work. The measure also creates a task force
to give further consideration to worker safety issues.