We’ve won some good Nursing laws

PSJ Rally for Safe Care (141)

Let’s protect our profession and our patients through good nursing legislation.

As nurses, we use our UNITED voice to protect patients and nurses in today’s rapidly changing, corner-cutting world of healthcare and politics.

It means we get involved. It means we use our resources and collective strength—not just in our hospital, but in our communities and across California and the nation.

By taking action together and contributing to our Union’s Nurse-Powered Politics fund, we’ve won:

  • Whistleblower Protection (2017 w/implementation in 2018)
  • Workplace Violence Protection (2016 w/partial implementation in 2017 and 2018)
  • Hospital Patient and Healthcare Worker Injury Protection Act (2012 w/implementation in 2014)
  • Aerosol Transmissible Diseases Cal/OSHA Standard (2010)
  • Nurse-to-Patient Ratios (1999 w/implementation in 2004)
  • Needle Safety Law (2000)

This year, we’re working to pass our Stop Repeat Offender Hospitals legislation, Senate Bill 1288, which will require mandatory, unannounced hospital inspections to ensure safe staffing and increase fines against hospitals that continue to go out-of-ratio. To learn more, click here.

To learn more about getting involved, talk to your Steward, Union Rep/Organizer or call SEIU Local 121RN’s Political Director Frank Torres at (626) 639-6167, torresf@seiu121rn.org

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Our Whisteblower Protection law is now in effect!

As of January 1st, our Whistleblower Protection law (AB 1102, which amends Section 1278.5 of the Health and Safety Code) is in effect! Now, if a hospital and/or our supervisors discipline us for blowing the whistle on unsafe assignments (click here for details), they will pay a much higher fine for willful violation of whistleblower protection laws—up to $75,000! Our continued commitment to fighting against unlawful assignments sends a clear message to profit-minded hospitals: cutting corners comes with a big price tag.

Do you know what to do when
you’re given an unlawful assignment?

The state of California sets minimum staffing requirements, called Title 22 regulations, that hospitals must follow when giving us an assignment. These regulations set a cap on how many patients we can legally accept. If we accept anything over that maximum assignment, we put our license at risk. All nurses can refuse to go out of ratio (see unit-by-unit ratios here), except in the case of an emergency.

Follow the steps in the flowchart below.

Click here to download a flyer to print out and share with your colleagues.

Click here to be a part of our UNITED efforts
to PASS LAWS that improve patient and nurse safety!

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Press Statement from SEIU Local 121RN President on new California law bringing stronger whistleblower protections for nurses


September 25, 2017
CONTACT: Terry Carter, (805) 312-0024

SEIU Local 121RN President Gayle Batiste, RN, CNOR, released the following statement on the Governor’s signing of AB 1102 (Rodriguez):

“The Registered Nurses of SEIU Local 121RN are grateful that Governor Brown agrees that patient safety is our state’s number one priority. California continues to lead the nation in the protection of patients and Registered Nurses.


“Those of us on the front line of patient care applaud this strong message from the Governor: Californians won’t tolerate a downward spiral of cut corners and diminished patient safety.

“Registered Nurses of SEIU Local 121RN will continue to push for higher standards and continue to challenge hospitals to be real partners with us and all Californians as we work together to strengthen patient care.”


Service Employees International Union, Local 121RN represents 8,500 registered nurses and professionals at 23 hospitals in Los Angeles and surrounding counties. This member-led organization is committed to supporting optimum working conditions that allow nurses to provide quality patient care and safety.


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Workplace Violence Prevention Standard Passed!

SEIU nurses and healthcare workers outside the California Occupational Safety and Health Standard Board meeting in Oakland on Oct. 20, 2016.

On Thursday, Oct. 20, the final Cal/OSHA Workplace Violence Prevention Standard was unanimously adopted at the California Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Standards Board meeting in Oakland. In 2013, California healthcare workers, led by SEIU Local 121RN and the SEIU Nurse Alliance of California, petitioned Cal/OSHA and the OSH Standards Board for a Workplace Violence Prevention Standard for Healthcare Workers. It covers a broad range of facilities from general acute care, to acute psych, to long-term care facilities. This is the most comprehensive, enforceable workplace violence prevention standard in the nation. For details on what this standard will enforce, visit http://safecarestandard.org/.

The standard will now go through the Department of Finance (DOF) before it can go on to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL). While we do not have a definitive date for adoption of the Standard, we are hoping for early next year.

Congratulations, nurses! Our hard work has paid off.

Local 121RN Member Lorraine Myrick, (middle) RN at Riverside Community Hospital, prior to the OSH Standards Board meeting Oct. 20.

Local 121RN Member Lorraine Myrick, (middle) RN at Riverside Community Hospital, prior to the OSH Standards Board meeting Oct. 20.

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Healthcare Workers Speak Out About Draft Workplace Violence Prevention Regulation


Healthcare workers represented by SEIU locals across California and UNAC-UHCP packed the Cal/OSHA Workplace Violence in Healthcare advisory meeting on February 5 in Los Angeles to make sure that the regulation the agency is working on will effectively address their needs.

Cal/OSHA heard from more than a hundred of us that, while what they presented as a first draft is good, it needs to include more specific language on bullying. We are in agreement that the regulation must identify the four commonly accepted typologies of violence

Bullying wasn’t the only thing discussed. Healthcare workers pushed back on the California Hospital Association when it complained of the difficulty it will have in reporting to Cal/OSHA violent incidents, as mandated in SB 1299, legislation that was recently signed by Governor Brown.

The incredible bravery of the nurses and healthcare workers in sharing their stories of either experiencing or witnessing IMG_5767violence at work brought tears to many people’s eyes. While the mainstream media doesn’t usually cover workplace violence in healthcare until one of us is seriously injured or killed, reporters from NBC in Los Angeles and various Spanish-language news agencies turned out to cover the meeting, interview healthcare workers, and share our message that in order for our patients to be safe, we need to be safe at work.

To summarize, in its draft form, the regulation will cover all healthcare facilities, service categories, and operations and will apply to all employers and employees covered in the scope of the regulation. As part of their already-required Injury and Illness Prevention Program, employers must establish, implement, and maintain an effective written workplace violence prevention plan. Training will be for everyone covered in the scope of the regulation. Furthermore, the regulation requires that records be created and maintained around hazard identification, evaluation, and correction; training; and incidents and injury investigation.

We spoke to a number of proposed changes we had around details of the draft, some of which include:

  • defining the four typologies of workplace violence
  • a stand-alone workplace violence prevention plan
  • unit-specific assessments and training
  • more specific data recording

IMG_5768We submitted these and all of our other proposed changes formally to Cal/OSHA and look forward to learning when the next advisory meeting is scheduled. Once we know the date/time and place, we will let everyone know.

If you have questions, concerns, or comments, please do not hesitate to reach out to either RichardKathy, or Sarah. If you want to receive regular campaign updates, please sign up here.

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Legislations Passed to Help Prevent Hospital Worker Injuries Due to Lifting, Transfers

Governor Brown signed landmark Safe Patient Handling legislation (AB 1136) on Oct. 7 to help slow a staggering epidemic of workplace injuries among hospital workers while also improving patient care.

Due to excessive and unnecessary manual patient lifting and/or transfers, RNs and other healthcare workers experience some of the nation’s highest rates of disabling neck, back, and shoulder injuries.  For more than a decade, mechanical lifting and transfer devices have proven to be remarkably effective in reducing these injuries while reducing serious patient skin tears and patients being dropped.

“The SEIU nurses here in California have long recognized the need for safe patient handling legislation and this was the year to finally get that accomplished. Too many of our nurses and other healthcare workers have been injured on the job while moving or repositioning the patients in their care,”  says Ingela Dahlgren, RN, Executive Director, SEIU Nurse Alliance of California

Dahlgren said, “With this important legislation, not only will our patients be provided safer care, but hospitals will have the guidelines to better protect their employees and prevent career-ending injuries.”

The nation’s first Safe Patient Handling law requiring the purchase of safe patient handling equipment and training programs was passed in Washington State in 2006.  As a result of the implementation of this law, a January 2011 study found that neck, back, and shoulder injuries to hospital workers caused by manual patient handling have decreased by more than one third.

As nurses, many of us know first-hand how dangerous manual lifting and transfers can be. We know that it’s not always just nuisance pain that’s caused by moving patients. Sometimes it can be completely debilitating and lead to early death. That’s not acceptable.

That’s why our SEIU Nurse Alliance of California fought for so many years to get this legislation passed. A big thank you to all 121RN nurses who participate in our Nurse Alliance in California!

Click here to view and print complete flyer

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