Workplace Violence Bill to Build Upon Current Law – A Summary

The Ohio Nurses Association is committed to enhancing workplace safety in healthcare. Safe workplaces include safe nurse staffing and curbing workplace violence.

Nurses are 5x more likely than other professions to be victims of workplace violence. The ONA worked with legislators to pass previous workplace violence legislation for healthcare workers, which included increasing the penalty against perpetrators of violence. House Bill 681, introduced in May 2022, aims to build upon the current law by requiring employers to develop plans to prevent violence and protect employees and mandatory reporting to the Ohio Department of Health.


Workplace Violence Bill FAQ – HB 681

The Ohio Nurses Association has worked closely with Representative Casey Weinstein to create comprehensive workplace violence legislation that builds upon current law.

Who is included in this bill?

  • The bill language covers healthcare workers in all healthcare settings, including ambulatory surgical settings, maternity homes, hospice care programs, pediatric respite care programs, nursing home or residential care facilities, hospitals, plasmapheresis centers, and home health agencies.
  • The bill also covers any employee who performs a service for wages or other remuneration for a healthcare setting listed above, including temporary staff hired by a healthcare staffing agency.

What is considered “workplace violence”?

  • The bill defines workplace violence as any physical assault or verbal threat of physical assault against an employee.

What does the bill aim to do?

The bill aims to address the prevalence of workplace violence against healthcare workers and build upon current law by:

  • Requiring every healthcare setting employer to develop and implement a plan to prevent and protect employees from workplace violence. This plan must be reviewed and updated at least every three years and be submitted to the Ohio Department of Health.
    • The plan must outline strategies aimed at addressing security considerations including:
      • Physical attributes like security systems, alarms, emergency response and security personnel;
      • Staffing patterns, patient classifications, and procedures to mitigate time spent working in high-risk violence areas;
      • Job design, equipment and facilities;
      • First aid and emergency procedures;
      • Reporting of workplace violence;
      • Employee education and training requirements;
      • Security risks associated by specific unit, areas with uncontrolled access, late night or early morning shifts, and employee security in areas surrounding the facility.
    • Requiring healthcare setting employers complete an annual review of the frequency of incidents of workplace violence and adjust their plan as necessary.
    • Requiring every healthcare setting employer provide workplace violence prevention training to employees, volunteers, contracted security personnel, and healthcare staffing agency employees.
      • This training shall occur no later than ninety days after the individual’s start date.
    • Requiring employers to make record of any workplace violence against an employee or any violent act against a patient or visitor. This record must submitted to the Director of Health within 72 hours after the employer is made aware of the incident.  The employer shall keep a record of the incident for at least five years, during which time it will be available for inspection by the Director on request.
      • Employees may report incidents of workplace violence and any violations of this law to the Director of Health.
      • No employer shall discriminate against an employee because the employee reported workplace violence and/or testified, assisted, or participated in any investigation, proceeding, or hearing.
    • Giving the Director of Health the authority for enforcement, investigation, and reporting requirements over workplace violence in healthcare settings.
    • Reporting from the Director of Health to the chairpersons of the state senate and house of representatives standing committees responsible for hearing healthcare-related legislation every five years. The standing committees will review the reports and consider potential legislative solutions to reduce violence in health care settings.
    • Creating penalties and other consequences if an employer violates the law. If, after an investigation, the Director of Health determines that reasonable evidence exists of an employer violating the law, the Director may impose a reasonable fine against the facility or, for the second and subsequent violation, revoke, suspend or refuse renewal for a facility’s license or certificate.

Who is sponsoring this legislation and how do I find the bill’s language?

Representative Casey Weinstein is the bill’s sponsor. There at 23 co-sponsors. You can see the co-sponsors and view the bill’s text here.