News Tip

Governor Murphy Signs 'Health Care Heroes Violence Prevention Act' to Protect Medical Workers

In an effort to protect health care professionals from increasing violence and threats, Governor Phil Murphy has signed the 'Health Care Heroes Violence Prevention Act.' The legislation makes it a criminal offense to intentionally threaten health care workers or volunteers, aiming to deter individuals from intimidating or interfering with their work. The act also establishes additional penalties for those who assault health care workers or volunteers.

The bill (A-3199) stipulates that individuals who knowingly and willfully threaten health care workers protected under the act are guilty of a disorderly persons offense. This is punishable by up to six months imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Those convicted of assaulting covered workers may be sentenced to an anger management course lasting up to 12 months and up to 30 days of community service.

Governor Murphy stated that the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the essential role health care workers play in society and emphasized that growing threats and attacks against them are unacceptable. The new law will provide greater protection to health care workers in New Jersey, helping to deter both physical and verbal acts of violence.

Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin and Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli expressed their support for the legislation, noting that health care professionals provide critical services to the community and deserve to work without fear for their physical and mental well-being.

The act applies to health care professionals and volunteers, as well as employees of health care facilities, while they perform their official duties. Health care facilities and certain physicians will be required to display written notices, informing the public that assaulting health care workers and volunteers is a crime punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both.

Sponsors of the bill include Senator Troy Singleton, Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald, Senator Fred Madden, and Assembly members Shavonda Sumter, Sadaf Jaffer, Lisa Swain, and Daniel Benson. Various healthcare representatives, such as Cathleen Bennett, President & CEO of the New Jersey Hospital Association, and Debbie White, HPAE President, have expressed their appreciation for the legislation, acknowledging its importance in protecting healthcare workers and maintaining a safe environment for patients.

I'm interested
I disagree with this
This is unverified