Skip to main content


Our "Stop Repeat Offender Hospitals" bill — stay updated on its progress!

February 16, 2018

California is the only state in the nation with minimum nurse-to-patient ratio standards for every unit. These regulations are intended to keep our patients safe.

The trouble is the penalties for violating the law are nearly nonexistent. Hospitals claim Title 22 regulations are just "recommendations" or "guidelines." Most are never fined unless there's a patient death or serious injury. By then, it's too late.

As it currently stands:

If the Governor had signed SB 1288 into law:

We will continue to introduce legislation and regulations that strengthen enforcement of Title 22 nurse-to-patient ratio regulations. We won’t stop until these ratios are enforced as bare minimum safe staffing standards—not a ceiling…not a “recommendation”…not a “suggestion.”


Click here for a complete list of the bill's official supporters.

SEIU Local 121RN nurses like...

Kathy Montanino Kathy Montanino - headshotREAD KATHY'S STORYJoyce Powell Joyce Powell - headshotREAD JOYCE'S STORY
Alvin Nadal
Alvin Nadal - headshotREAD ALVIN'S STORY
Yolanda Tominac
Yolanda Tominac - headshotREAD YOLANDA'S STORY

...worked with Senator Connie M. Leyva (District 20, Inland Empire) to examine ways to raise standards and challenge hospitals to be real partners with us and all Californians as we work together to strengthen patient care.

LAST YEAR, we successfully strengthened California's Whistleblower Protection laws. Signed into law in September, Assembly Bill 1102 (which amends Section 1278.5 of the Health & Safety Code) increases the fines on our employers if they retaliate against us for reporting unlawful assignments that put patient safety and our RN license at risk.

THIS YEAR, we continued our work on safe staffing, this time with Senator Leyva who authored SB 1288. The bill would put some real teeth into the regulations that set staffing levels in our hospitals. We frequently report that our hospitals ignore the laws that set minimum staffing levels in our Emergency Rooms, Intensive Care Units, Labor & Delivery Floors and other patient care areas. This endangers patients, is an unnecessary stress on families, and puts our licenses and livelihoods at risk.

What would the bill have done?

SB 1288 would have mandated unannounced inspections of hospitals with a special focus on adherence to California's nurse-to-patient ratios as regulated by Title 22. This bill would also increase the penalties assessed against repeat offender hospitals who continue to ignore these regulations. No longer would hospitals be able to simply submit a plan when they are cited for staffing violations. Repeat offender hospitals would be subject to increasing fines.

As Senator Leyva said, "SB 1288 is important legislation that will help to improve patient health and safety by ensuring that hospitals comply with legally mandated nurse-to-patient staffing ratios. The state needs to take a more proactive role by conducting unannounced visits at hospitals across California. We must do everything we can to make sure that we fully enforce existing law, since the stakes are simply too high for patients. I thank SEIU Local 121RN and SEIU California for co-sponsoring SB 1288 and standing alongside me in our fight to protect patients and making sure that nurses are able to properly care for their patients."

If you didn't have a chance yet, be sure to watch the ABC News report on our new "Stop Repeat Offender Hospitals" bill, SB 1288. It was exciting to see this coverage state our case so clearly and not even mention the false message the hospitals are putting out there: that it's our fault because we call in sick (good grief) or that staffing just isn't an issue at our hospitals. Some more great news: the same day we got this news story, our bill also sailed through the Senate Health Committee 7-to-2. That was our first of several victories!