National Call-In Day FAQ
Thank you so much for your interest in Silent No More Foundation's National Call-In Day! Here are some details about us, H.R. 1309, and the Call-In Day itself, which will take place all day on July 10, 2019.
What is H.R. 1309?
Currently, when there are known workplace hazards, a person or persons can contact OSHA and file a complaint against their employer for a violation of General Duty Clause Section 5(a)(1), which states, "Each employer shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees." Workplace violence is a top reason for injury in healthcare, and is more prevalent in healthcare than any other industry. If workplace violence is a known hazard, employers should be taking steps to prevent it.
Unfortunately, this has not been happening. In spite of the high, consistent rates of violence, sometimes employees are blamed for their own assaults, retaliation occurs, or disability removes the employee from the industry completely. The requirement to take measures to keep a workplace safe has been largely ignored.
H.R. 1309 seeks to remedy this in a more specific way. H.R. 1309 creates an OSHA standard specific to healthcare and social services requiring prevention measures be taken. This requirement includes the expectation that all staff in all areas are given the opportunity to help develop the prevention plan. Each facility will have autonomy to decide the best measures to put in place.
In addition, employers will be required to investigate violent incidents, risks, or hazards. They'll be required to provide training to exposed staff, and maintain records. And importantly, retaliation for reporting incidents or concerns will no longer be allowed.
As of the time of this FAQ's creation, there are just under 190 cosponsors to this bill. We need more! More cosponsors means more votes and the likelihood of the bill going to the House floor to be voted on. Another problem that seems to have formed is the partisan support it has received. Violence is a non-partisan issue. Violence against staff working in the hospital affects everyone in that hospital. Same for all other settings. This bill needs support from more Republicans. To date, there are only three Republican cosponsors. We can not lose all this progress to party lines drawn in the sand!
What is a Call-In Day?
A call-in day is a day when a large volume of people call their legislators in support or in opposition of legislation or actions in politics.
Our next call-in day will take place on July 10, 2019. We will be calling our representatives in the house to ask for their support of H.R. 1309 - Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act.
We'll be looking for other organizations to join us, to ask their members to also call their representatives. When you call in, we need you to ask for two things:
- Support H.R. 1309!
- Cosponsor H.R. 1309!
Be sure to read through the bill before calling. If you have ever experienced violence in healthcare, share your story, too!
Contact us if you have any questions or you do not know how to get started. To learn who your congressperson is, you can use this search tool to find out. (Paste this link into your browser if that link to find your congressperson does not work: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative)
Who, or what, is Silent No More Foundation?
Silent No More Foundation began in 2017 in response to a collective cry for change. A very little publicized story of the rape and torture of a nurse at work brought out so much passion and courage that collectively, thousands of people came together and said, "We will be #SilentNoMore in the face of violence in our workplaces!" Since then, we have grown to about 10,000 members on our social media homes, participated in development of workplace violence legislation, been part of rallies for change, spoken internationally, developed education for members, advocated for victims, given a voice to those too afraid to speak of their stories, and more.
Our "home" is on facebook, where we deliver education, news, advocacy, inspiration for actions, etc. Our facebook group has given a community for people to turn for support. Often we hear from our members that before they found us, they really felt alone in their trauma and their need for help and change. This is why we are #SilentNoMore: to protect healthcare & social services workers before, during, and after an assault in the workplace through education, legislation, awareness, and advocacy.
As we turn two in July as an officially registered foundation, we look back at these formative years with joy and accomplishment. Now, as we set our sights forward, we see the importance of this legislation and hope that others see this as important as well.
What is Silent No More Foundation asking for?
We're humble enough to say it does not matter to us if you tell a single soul we are the ones asking for help for the Call-In Day. The end goal is what matters most: effectively protecting workers from the known hazard of violence in their workplaces. Preventing the ending of careers. Preventing the ending of lives. Protecting those who report their own assaults or the assaults of others around them.
What we need from you is to share this Call-In Day. Ask your members, followers, friends, and family to call their representative on July 10th. Use email, social media, phone calls, anything to spread this important message. It is an action that will cost only a few moments of your time, nothing more, and you could potentially save a healthcare worker's life by doing it.
Thank you so very much for reading this page, and if you have any questions, please get in touch.