AB 1422—Important bill to curb safe staffing waivers introduced in Sacramento

We need nurse-to-patient ratios to be enforced, not waived!

That’s why on February 19, 2021, Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D-Canoga Park) introduced AB 1422—our “Patients’ Right to Know” bill.

This legislation would finally give us a voice in the waiver system—and bring public transparency. Ultimately, it’s a tool we need to strengthen our Stop Repeat Offender Hospitals win in 2019 (a true David and Goliath victory against our bosses over at the California Hospital Association).

Because how can we enforce safe staffing if our hospitals keep getting waivers?

These waivers, which hospitals use to sidestep California’s groundbreaking regulations on nurse-to-patient ratios, have historically allowed hospitals to operate in the dark as they slash staffing levels—potentially endangering patients and putting our licenses at risk. AB 1422 will shine some harsh light on this unsafe practice.

Share your personal examples of how waivers impact patient safety.

This new bill would require any hospital applying for a waiver to submit supporting evidence showing the need for program flexibility and (this is where we come in:) somehow demonstrate that low staffing won’t compromise patient care. We know better! And AB 1422 would give us a 40-day window to make that clear via public comment.

In addition, the hospital would need to post its waiver application where both patients and staff could see it and also provide copies to all affected employees and our Union.

Bottom line: we believe that we should have a voice in whether or not our hospital can skirt safe staffing regulations. And our patients deserve to know that our bosses too often—and with unnecessary risk—fail to ensure there are enough of us on duty to properly take care of our patients. AB 1422 will add even more pressure on hospitals to follow the laws on safe staffing.

And, without waivers to shield them from any repercussions for unsafe staffing levels, we can begin to really enforce our Stop Repeat Offender Hospitals law, which would bring fines to our hospitals for violating Title 22 staffing ratios.

As in years past, turning AB 1422 into law will take all of us sharing our examples of unsafe staffing, speaking to legislators and winning public support!

  • Please save April 15 for our next Lobby/Media Training
  • Share an incident that illustrates the need for this law
  • Stay tuned for more details on how you can get involved
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