Surprisingly, there are over 800 occupations in the United States that are under the authority of state agencies. Not only do state agencies create guidelines, adjudicate, and monitor fields of work, but there are also state statutes that control and protect occupations. The agency boards have significant power to regulate who can distribution goods and perform duties, how many people are doing a particular type of work, and taking disciplinary action against individuals and businesses. The reason why we have state statutes that control professional licensing is to not only set the guidelines for those that have professional licenses, but also keep the agencies in check.
Connecticut Law on Professional and Occupational Licensing
Chapter 20 of the Connecticut General Statutes provides the state law on professional and occupational licensing, certification, title protection and registration, and examining boards. The healthcare professional licensing takes up a large portion of this chapter of statutes. Under each type of professional licensing section, there is extensive law on what the occupation is, how to qualify, what restrictions and privileges come with the license, disciplinary action that could be taken, and guidelines for the board that reviews complaints about the professionals with that license.
An example of how the statutes protect professionals can be seen in a disciplinary action statute. In §20-13c, the grounds for restricting, suspending, or revoking a physician’s right to practice are given. The last part of the statute states that, “In each case, the board shall consider whether the physician poses a threat, in the practice of medicine, to the health and safety of any person. If the board finds that the physician poses such a threat, the board shall include such finding in its final decision and act to suspend or revoke the license of said physician.”
Another way that professionals and agencies can be regulated is through executive orders. If an executive order is released, it could have implications on a specific field of work, like healthcare. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Lamont signed around 10 executive orders. These orders had a huge impact on healthcare professionals and the industry. The agencies, such as the Department of Public Health and those working in the industry, must adapt and adhere to executive orders.
The statutes aim to protect the public and prevent the public from unsafe or unhealthy services. For example, §20-241-244 contains the law on inspections of barber shops, regulations on sterilizing tools, and sanitation of appliances and equipment. These statutes also act as a guide for regulating businesses and gives the board of examiners and the Commissioner of Public Health the authority to adopt regulations that are in accordance with Connecticut statutes in order to preserve public health.
Overseeing Professional Licenses
The Department of Consumer Protection and the Department of Public Health are responsible for overseeing professional licenses. Specifically, the Occupation and Professional Licensing Division is responsible for protecting the welfare of the public by making sure that those working in each field or trade are qualified and competent.
As a working professional, it is important to know how agencies, departments, government officials, and individuals and businesses that are in the workforce coexist and affect each other. There is a system of checks and balances and knowing who makes the rules and what rules to follow is critical. If you have a professional license and would like more information about statutory authority or other authorities in your field, contact our office today.