RELEASE: Iowa's Democratic Congressional Delegation Stands Up for Workplace Violence Prevention


For Immediate Release

November 21, 2019

Contact: Mazie Stilwell, Communications Specialist

(515) 246-2637 | [email protected]



DES MOINES – Today, with the support of Congresswoman Finkenauer, Congresswoman Axne, and Congressman Loebsack, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act, H.R. 1309. This Act demands that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issue a workplace violence prevention standard requiring employers within the health care and social service sectors to develop and implement a plan to protect their employees from workplace violence.

AFSCME Council 61 President Danny Homan praised our Democratic congressional delegation for taking action on this all-too-common workplace safety issue. “Iowa has a serious problem with protecting its healthcare and social service workers against violence in the workplace,” Homan said. “We have seen the consequences of the lack of workplace protections for these workers through the many injuries, surgeries, and even job losses stemming from this rampant danger. Tina Suckow, a former nurse at the Independence Mental Health Institute, was attacked on the job and was subsequently fired for not healing quickly enough. Today, the U.S. House of Representatives stood up for workers like Tina. Thank you to Congresswoman Finkenauer, Congresswoman Axne, and Congressman Loebsack for co-sponsoring and voting in favor of this legislation to protect Iowa workers. We urge Senator Ernst and Senator Grassley to support this bi-partisan legislation that prevents workplace violence in the U.S. Senate.”


Tina Suckow added, “As a victim of workplace violence, it means a lot to me to know that my own member of Congress, Congresswoman Finkenauer, as well as Congresswoman Axne and Congressman Loebsack, are working to prevent other workers from going through what I have. I ended up losing my job due to the extent of my injuries. No one should have to endure violence just for doing their job. I truly hope that this bill becomes law.”



The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council 61 represents 40,000 public employees in Iowa including law enforcement and correctional officers, firefighters, mental health workers, professional school staff, emergency responders, and many other workers. AFSCME Council 61 also represents home health care and child care providers across the state and private sector workers at Prairie Meadows, Palmer College of Chiropractic, Des Moines University, and ABM (Marshalltown).