Violence against health care workers has been on the increase since the start of COVID.
LANSING, Mich.— (michigan.gov Press Release) - Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed bipartisan bills to better protect health care workers on the job and incentivize more Michiganders to enter the health care workforce.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to the doctors, nurses, and health care workers who routinely step up to protect our communities and save lives,” said Governor Whitmer. “Unfortunately, health care workers face rising rates of bullying, viciousness, and violence. These bills will protect health care workers and help Michiganders in the industry, as well as those who are considering a career in health care, know that the state of Michigan has their back. Let’s keep working together to build a Michigan where we treat each other with the kindness, dignity, and respect we all deserve.”
House Bill 4520, sponsored by state Representative Mike Mueller (R-Linden), increases fines against those who assault, without a weapon, health professionals or medical volunteers who are on the job at the time of the crime.
“Michigan’s dedicated health care professionals continue to go above and beyond to safeguard the health of our residents, despite growing challenges and intimidation,” said state Representative Mike Mueller. “This new law is a step toward providing a secure working environment for hospital personnel, discouraging acts of violence, and ensuring that anyone who targets them with violence is held responsible.”
House Bill 4521, sponsored by state Representative Kelly Breen (D-Novi), increases fines against those who assault health professionals or medical volunteers on the job with a weapon. Both bills also require operators of health facilities to post signs describing enhanced fines under these bills.
“Doctors, nurses, and other medical workers—part of the team of frontline heroes who saw us through the worst of the pandemic—deserve greater protections from physical violence on the job,” said state Representative Kelly Breen. “I’m proud of the work to get this bipartisan package signed into law, and I want to thank the countless nurses and other advocates who pushed for this critical legislation.”
“Physical and verbal acts of violence against healthcare workers and volunteers are unacceptable,” said Brian Peters, CEO of Michigan Health & Hospital Association. “As these rates have increased over recent years, the MHA and our member hospitals and health systems thank the Michigan Legislature for passing and Gov. Whitmer for signing House Bills 4520 and 4521 to further protect caregivers in our hospitals. Healthcare workers provide care to anyone who enters a hospital and the increased penalties for assault against a healthcare worker demonstrates these crimes are taken extremely seriously by hospital administrators, lawmakers and law enforcement.”