BY STATE REPRESENTATIVE SHELLY BOSHART DAVIS
New bipartisan legislation would protect hospital workers from physical assault in the workplace
SALEM, Ore. – Representative Shelly Boshart Davis (R-Albany) and Representative Sheri Schouten (D-Beaverton) are re-introducing legislation to expand stronger employee protections to include hospital workers.
HB 4142 expands the crime of assault in the third degree for someone who intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes physical injury to a person working in a hospital while performing their official duties.
This legislation introduces appropriate consequences to create a safer environment in hospitals. Current law is neither strong enough, nor provides justice for hospital workers if they are physically injured.
Hospital workers have been overwhelmed by staffing shortages and insufficient bed capacity during the pandemic. These added tensions can result in a physically hostile work environment as they attempt to provide care to patients under increased stress.
“Our overworked hospital workers deserve stronger protection and justice while they put themselves in harm’s way to care for patients,” said Representative Boshart Davis. “Current consequences for assaulting a hospital worker are simply too weak and do not fit the seriousness of the crime. Health care workers should not have to worry about physical danger while taking care of patients. Assaulting a hospital worker trying to save lives should be a serious offense. This is not just about protecting the health care community. This is also about guaranteeing exceptional care and attention for Oregonians in need by making our hospitals a safer place.”