Advocacy Alert

Urge Your Lawmakers to Support Essential Health System Designation

State Legislation to Protect Health Care Workers from Threats

Abigail Painchaud
April 11, 2022

Several states have passed or are considering legislation that would make it a crime to threaten health care providers.

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers (D) signed into law legislation that makes it a felony punishable by up to six years in prison to threaten health care workers in their official capacity or their families in reaction to something that happened at a health care facility.

Similarly, Utah passed a law that enhances penalties for assault or threat of violence against health care facility workers.

In addition, several other state legislatures are actively considering similar legislation. Kansas, Maryland, and New Jersey all have pending legislation to improve protection of health care workers from threats. Two bills under consideration in the Michigan legislature enhance penalties for assaulting an emergency department (ED) worker and extend to ED personnel provisions of an existing law that criminalizes assault of first responders.

Contact Director of Policy Rob Nelb, MPH, at rnelb@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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