Companion bill to Senate Bill 6205 hears testimonies from caregivers in the House Labor & Workplace Standards Committee
OLYMPIA, WA – Today, caregivers, agency employers, and allies testified in front of the Washington state House Labor & Workplace Standards Committee in support of House Bill 2681 – a bill that addresses the harassment, abuse, and discrimination of caregivers.
“Every single time workers demand rights and protections, the response is that this isn’t the right time, or that we need to slow down, or that we need to study the problem more,” said SEIU 775 President Sterling Harders. “But caregivers in this state are at risk. People deserve to be safe while giving and receiving care.”
HB 2681 was created with significant input from caregivers and the aging and disability rights community, including self-advocates. Caregivers from across the state urge the legislature to pass this powerful and comprehensive policy that ensures everyone can feel safe while giving and receiving care.
Caregiver Danielle Green said: “While my client’s mother behaved in ways that made the overall care environment dangerous, they did not appear to put her son – my client – in immediate danger. When my client’s mother came after me with a butcher knife, there was no one for me to report it to who would have my back and ensure I was safe at work.”
For caregivers, incidents of harassment, abuse and discrimination can come from anyone in the care environment – including other people residing in or visiting their client’s home, friends, family, or neighbors. And the impacts can linger. It affects caregivers’ health, wellbeing, and quality of care. Additionally, it leads to increased turnover among direct care workers, which can lower quality of care for clients.
SEIU 775 testified in support of HB 2681 because:
- Everyone deserves to feel safe at work and while giving & receiving care.
- Everyone deserves to feel respected when giving & receiving care.
- Everyone wants to strengthen long-term care workforce and system in our state.
- And above all, caregivers want to provide the best quality care they can.
The bill is sponsored in the Washington state House of Representatives by Mike Chapman, 24th District; Eileen Cody, 34th District; Lauren Davis, 32nd District; Carolyn Eslick, 39th District; Noel Frame, 36th District; Roger Goodman, 45th District; Mia Gregerson, 33rd District; Paul Harris, 17th District; Christine Kilduff, 28th District; John Lovick, 44th District; Nicole Macri, 43rd District; Timm Ormsby, 3rd District; Lillian Ortiz-Self, 21st District; Tina Orwall, 33rd District; Gerry Pollet, 46th District; Marcus Riccelli, 3rd District; June Robinson, 38th District; Mike Sells, 38th District; Sharon Shewmake, 42nd District; Monica Jurado Stonier, 49th District; Gael Tarleton, 36th District; My-Linh Thai, 41st District; Steve Tharinger, 24th District; Javier Valdez, 46th District; and Amy Walen, 48th District.
HB 2681 is the companion bill to Senate Bill 6205, which caregivers testified in support of in front of the Senate Health and Long Term Care Committee on January 15.
More information on SEIU 775’s campaign to address harassment, abuse and discrimination (HADit) is available at: seiu775.org/HADit
SEIU 775, the caregivers union, represents more than 45,000 long-term care workers providing quality home care, nursing home care, and residential services in Washington and Montana.