WASHINGTON – American Federation of Government Employees National President Everett Kelley issued the following statement in response to the passage of the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act (H.R. 1195):
“On behalf of the 700,000 federal and D.C. government workers represented by AFGE, I thank the U.S. House of Representatives for passing this critical legislation to protect federal workers in health care and social services from violence in the workplace.
“According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, health care and social service workers are five times more likely to suffer an injury resulting from workplace violence than workers in any other industry. It is far past time to protect these workers and hold employers accountable, starting with the federal government.
“If enacted, this legislation would do just that by requiring the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to develop a federal standard that directs health care and social service employers to implement a workplace violence prevention plan. The bill also would protect workers who report violence from retaliation.
“We thank leadership in the House for passing this measure and call on Senate leaders to bring this bill to the floor for a vote as soon as possible, sending it to President Biden for signature. We cannot afford to delay these critical protections for our health care and social service workers any longer.”