U.S. House Passes Bill to Prevent Violence in the Workplace

In a huge victory for working people, the U.S. House passed H.R. 1309, the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act, by a vote of 251-158. Hundreds of Democrats and 32 Republicans supported the bill, recognizing that health care and social service workers should not have to worry about whether they are going to be injured in an assault on the job.

This bipartisan legislation, introduced by Congressman Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), directs the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) to issue a workplace violence prevention standard requiring employers in the health care and social service sectors to develop and implement plans to protect their employees from workplace violence.
Health care and social service workers face a disproportionate amount of violence at work. Nurses, emergency room physicians, social workers, psychiatric facility aides, and other health care and social service workers report that violence – most often from patients and those accompanying them – results in injury, loss of productivity, and serious safety concerns.

"Violence is not 'part of the job.' Violence is a significant hazard affecting CWA members in the health care and social services industry. CWA is including votes on this bill on our CWA congressional scorecard, and we are now urging the U.S. Senate to pass the bill," said CWA Director of Government Affairs Dan Mauer.