Despite co-sponsorship by four Republicans and strong bipartisan support, Rep. Scott Perry voted against H.R. 1195, the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act. The bill, introduced by Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT), passed on Friday by a vote of 254-166, with 38 Republicans joining House Democrats in support of it.
According to a 2016 Government Accountability Office study, health care workers are more than 12 times more likely to experience violence in the workplace than the overall workforce.
Quoted in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bonnie Castillo, executive director of the National Nurses United, the largest U.S. union of nurses, lauded the bill's passage in the House: “This is groundbreaking legislation that will hold health care and social service employers accountable for the safety of their workers. It’s time for employers to stop putting lives in danger. Everyone deserves to be safe in their workplace, and that includes hospitals, clinics, and social service settings that are so crucial now more than ever given the deadly Covid-19 pandemic.”
At a time when health care workers have sacrificed so much, this callous vote by Rep. Perry and his House GOP colleagues is unconscionable. American health care and social service workers deserve so much better.
If you are a nurse or health care or social service worker or have a family member in one of these professions, contact Rep. Perry's office to express your views on his vote. You can also consider writing an Op/Ed or letter to the editor to speak your mind. See these CRSU resources for tips on how to compose your letter.