Bill Requires Regular Breaks for Healthcare Professionals

The state House voted to give Washington nurses a break – literally – Wednesday afternoon in Olympia. Dan Frizzell from the Washington State Democratic Caucus has more.

No one likes to wolf down a meal in three minutes or work on their feet for hours without a predictable break, but for nurses, nurses’ assistants and several other healthcare professionals, this is apparently a normal workday. That will change if state Representative Marcus Riccelli has his way.  Riccelli, a Democrat from Spokane, wrote a bill requiring these helpers be given uninterrupted meal and rest breaks. Here’s Riccelli:

RICCELLI: “Of all the professions that we have, we need to make sure that our frontline care workers are getting adequate meal and rest breaks so that they can make sure that our loved ones are taken care of.  That’s what this bill’s about, it really about making sure that they are able to perform at the best of their ability and can do their duties, because we all know they didn’t get into the profession to get rich.  They got into the profession to take care of people.”

Riccelli’s House Bill 1155 was OK’d by a two-to-one margin in the state House Wednesday – the exact midpoint of the 105-day legislative session. Its fate is now in the hands of the senators on the other side of the Capitol.  In Olympia, I’m Dan Frizzell.