As of January 1, 2016, patient care workers in New York State will have the same legal protections against on-the-job assault as registered nurses, firefighters and emergency medical technicians. State bill S.3621-A, recently signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo, classifies the assault of a worker providing direct patient care as Assault in the Second Degree.

The law defines a patient care worker as any staff, other than a registered nurse, whose main responsibility is to provide direct health care for one or more patients. Assaults by patients is a major challenge for direct care workers: According to a press release from Senator Rich Funke, who sponsored the bill, 25% of nursing home workers and 34% of nursing aides reported experiencing workplace violence in a recent survey, and a quarter of those workers reported missing work as a result.

The Labor Management Project (LMP) and the New Directions and Innovations Committee (NDIC) have responded to this serious challenge with an 18-month program to reduce incidents of violence in nursing homes.

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Read Senator Funke’s press release for more on the new law

Learn more about the LMP and NDIC program to reduce workplace violence

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