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.
Read Senator Funke’s press release for more on the new law
Learn more about the LMP and NDIC program to reduce workplace violence