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Democrats Pass Shortsighted Workplace Violence Bill

Today, Democrats passed H.R. 1309, overly prescriptive and ill-conceived legislation that will likely impose many unintended consequences on health care and social service workplaces and inflict a costly mandate on health care providers.

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Republican Leader of the Education and Labor Committee, said on the House floor prior to the vote: “Protecting the safety of health care and social service workers is not a partisan issue. All of us here today, regardless of our political beliefs, appreciate the hard work and empathy that health care workers and community caregivers demonstrate every single day on the job.
“There is much agreement on both sides of the aisle that these workers deserve protections in the workplace. Given this bipartisan interest, it is frustrating that the Democrats have moved forward with the rushed and ill-conceived legislation we are debating today.
“H.R. 1309 ignores expert and practical input; imposes mandates that may ultimately harm the very people the legislation intends to protect; forecloses better, more protective, and feasible solutions that would result from the established rulemaking process; fails to allow meaningful public input; and imposes costly requirements on regulated entities.
“Our health care workers and caregivers deserve a thoroughly vetted and researched solution that protects them in the workplace, but H.R. 1309 badly fails to deliver on that front.”

BACKGROUND: Employers are already required to take definitive steps to protect employees and provide a safe work environment. In acknowledgement of the risks facing health care and social service workers, the Trump administration’s agency tasked with ensuring safe and healthful working conditions is currently working to create a regulatory standard in this area and is taking concrete steps to understand clearly the wide variety of circumstances that exist for these workers, and to determine how to address this important issue. The legislation passed today, H.R. 1309, would undermine and threaten this ongoing collaborative and evidence-based process.