Today, Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) voted to pass the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act, which includes an amendment authored by Wexton to ensure no provisions of the bill are construed to limit existing laws related to domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, or stalking.
“Right now, health care and social service workers are facing alarming rates of workplace violence,” said Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton. “No one should endure violence in the workplace--that’s not a part of the job and it never should be. This legislation will ensure that enforceable OSHA standards are in place to stem the epidemic of workplace violence. Health care and social service workers care for us when we need them most--it’s on us to ensure that our laws protect them from violence in the workplace.”
Workplace violence is a growing threat, especially for those working in health care and social service sectors and particularly for women workers. In 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that health care and social service workers were over four times as likely to suffer serious workplace violence injury than workers in other sectors.
Currently, there is no enforceable federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard that requires employers to adopt or implement a workplace violence prevention program. The Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act would help address this epidemic by directing OSHA to issue a standard requiring health care and social service employers to implement much-needed workplace violence prevention plans. This bill would require employers in various health care and social service settings to develop a workplace violence prevention plan that identifies risks, specifies solutions, and require training, reporting, and incident investigations.
The full text of Congresswoman Wexton’s amendment can be found here.
The full text of H.R. 1309, Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act can be found here.