After a months-long campaign bolstered by United Steelworkers (USW) activists, the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act (H.R. 1309) reached the floor of the U.S. House today and passed 251-158.
The legislation, introduced by Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), would direct the Secretary of Labor to issue an occupational safety and health standard that requires health care and social service industry employers to develop and implement comprehensive workplace violence prevention plans.
"Our members mobilized all across the country and across industries to collect more than 80,000 signatures in support of this bill because they know it affects all working people," said USW International President Tom Conway. "This is how we make progress – by finding common ground and solidarity around issues that impact everyday Americans and making our voices heard."
Three weeks ago, hundreds of Steelworker activists descended onto Capitol Hill for a legislative conference where they also marched to the Department of Labor to hold a rally in support of the bill. They were joined by several legislative leaders, including Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pa.), and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), before walking the halls of Congress to speak to their representatives about the legislation.
Workplace violence is the third-leading cause of death on the job, and health care and social service workers are among the most vulnerable. Women are disproportionately affected, with two out of every three serious workplace violence events suffered by women.
"It is past time for these workers to have the protections they need," said Conway. "We hope Majority Leader Mitch McConnell does what's best for them, their patients, and their families by bringing this bill to a vote in the Senate, where we believe it will see the same support as it did in the House."
The USW represents 850,000 men and women employed in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in public sector, health care, and service occupations.
Meeta develops credible content about various markets based on deep research, opinions from experts and inputs from industry leaders. As the managing editor at Smart Market News, she assures that every piece of news and article adds to the knowledge of decision makers. An avid bike rider, Meeta, is a postgraduate from Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media (IIJNM) Bangalore, where her specialization was Business Journalism. She carries experience from mainstream print media including The Times Group and Sakal Media Group.
Smarter Decisions with Smart News
Smart Market News is committed to getting its readers the latest updates and insights on industries that help in making “smarter” business decisions. With insights and inputs from corporate decision makers, we bring you the stories of adopting innovative solutions and strategies that have been changing the world. Our editorial insights on products, solutions, companies, and adoption of best practices not only help in understanding the markets better, but also prove to be a complete package for your information needs.