Thursday, November 21, 2019

House Meets at… Votes Predicted at…
9:00 a.m. Legislative Business
Five “One Minutes” Per Side
First/Last Votes: 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

 

ANY ANTICIPATED MEMBER ABSENCES FOR VOTES TODAY SHOULD BE REPORTED IMMEDIATELY TO THE OFFICE OF THE MAJORITY WHIP AT 6-3210.

Floor Schedule and Procedure:

Under a Rule (1 bill):

H.R. 1309 – Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act (Rep. Courtney – Education and Labor)

Our nation’s caregivers – including nurses, social workers, and many others working in the health care and social services sectors – suffer workplace violence injuries at far higher rates than any other profession. This bill provides health and social service workers the protection they deserve by compelling OSHA to issue an interim final standard within one year and a final standard within 42 months, requiring employers within the health care and social service sectors to develop and implement comprehensive violence prevention programs to prevent or mitigate violent incidents in the workplace using proven prevention techniques tailored to the risks in a given workplace. It also requires employers, in developing their workplace violence prevention programs, to identify risks, specify solutions, and require training, reporting, and incident investigations, provides protections to workers from retaliation for reporting violent incidents in the workplace, and protects health care and social service workers in the public sector in the 24 states not covered by OSHA.

Click here for a fact sheet from the Committee on Education and Labor.

The Rule provides for one hour of general debate and makes in order the following amendments:

Hastings Amendment
Requires covered employers to email their organization’s workplace violence prevention plan to the organization’s staff, in addition to ensuring the plan is available at all times to covered employees.
DeSaulnier Amendment
Includes within the Workplace Violence Prevention Plan procedures for the employer to provide information about available trauma and related counseling for employees, as part of  the employer’s reporting, incident response, and post-incident investigation procedures.
Byrne Amendment
Requires the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to promulgate a standard on workplace violence prevention for health care and social service workers, but unlike H.R. 1309, this substitute amendment has no deadline for issuance of a final rule, no requirement for enforceable interim protections, and eliminates the enforceability of anti-retaliation protections for workers who report incidents to their employer or government agencies.  Since OSHA can take up to 20 years to issue a final standard, and OSHA has taken no steps to develop a rule over the past 34 months,  deadlines are necessary.  Without a time frame to compel rulemaking, this amendment is a formula for inaction and does nothing to protect workers.
Harder Amendment
Ensures that nothing in this Act shall be construed to limit or prevent healthcare and social service workers covered  under  the bill from reporting violent incidents to appropriate law enforcement.
Levin (MI) Amendment
Requires information about the employer’s   anti retaliation policies be provided in its required annual workplace violence and prevention training.
Green (TX) Amendment
Requires the Secretary of Labor to provide an annual report to Congress that would include statistics and a summary of the data from the annual reports of workplace violence submitted to the Secretary by covered employers.
Brown Amendment
States that additional training shall be provided for covered employees who work with victims of torture, trafficking, or domestic violence.
Garcia (TX) Amendment
Ensures that updates to Workplace Violence Prevention Plans are informed by the required annual evaluations  on the effectiveness of the Plan.
Wexton Amendment
Ensures that nothing in this Act shall be construed to limit or diminish any protections in relevant federal, state or local law related to domestic violence, stalking, dating violence, and sexual assault.
Delgado Amendment
Directs OSHA to prioritize providing technical assistance and advice to employers throughout the first year of the implementation Act to ensure businesses have the information needed for compliance.

Additional Legislative Items Are Possible

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“If you want to have a life that is worth living, a life that expresses your deepest feelings and emotions and cares and dreams, you have to fight for it.”

Alice Walker