SACRAMENTO, CALIF. — A California assemblyman introduced an EMS Workers Bill of Rights Tuesday, which would provide adequate workplace protections.
The bill, introduced by Assemblyman Freddie Rodriguez, includes the rights to rest and meal breaks, protections against on-duty assault and access to mental health care.
“Today, EMS workers across the state don’t have adequate rest and meal breaks, protections against violence in the workplace, or access to mental health care,” Rodriguez said. “As a legislator and EMT of over 30 years, I am obligated and proud to stand up and speak out for thousands of hardworking individuals who are integral to our health care system. ”
According to researchers at University of California, Berkeley and UCLA, a majority of EMTs are privately employed and earn 39 percent less wages than public sector counterparts. They also found that EMTs suffer disproportionately from PTSD, depression and suicide.