Trenton – In a move to further protect health care workers, legislation sponsored by Senator Troy Singleton and Senator Fred Madden that would establish the “Health Care Heroes Violence Prevention Act,” expanding protections for health care workers who are subjected to workplace violence was signed into law today by Governor Phil Murphy.
“Over the last three years, our nurses, doctors and health care professionals were on the frontline of the COVID pandemic – often putting their own health at risk,” said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington). “Sadly, this figurative battlefield turned literal, with people physically assaulting these essential workers. This is simply unacceptable. This law will send a clear message that our health care workers must be treated with the respect, decency and civility they deserve.”
The law, S-2008, would expand the aggravating factors to be considered in sentencing a defendant to include whether an individual committed an offense against a health care worker while engaged in their professional duties. The legislation would establish the criminal offense of threats against a health care professional, a volunteer working for a health care professional or working at a health care facility or an employee of a health care professional or health care facility.
“This law is vital to the protection of health care workers who have shown up every day to care for patients in the midst of a global pandemic,” said Senator Madden (D-Gloucester/Camden). “However, we have seen a rise in violent acts committed against health care workers and providers. The law will ensure that we protect the individuals who show up for us daily and put their own health and well-being on the line to provide care.”