Emma Pelkey Co-Authors AHLA Article on Workplace Violence in Healthcare Settings

Portland, Ore. (July 24, 2020) - Portland Associate Emma P. Pelkey recently co-authored an article for the American Health Law Association’s (AHLA) July issue of Health Law Connections titled "Unique Challenges for Behavioral Health Providers in Protecting Health Care Workers While Balancing the Needs of Patients.” The article discusses the challenges faced by healthcare providers in creating a safe workplace, particularly in the behavioral health setting.

The authors begin by pointing out that healthcare workers are the targets of the vast majority of workplace violence, with emergency departments and psychiatric units proving particularly vulnerable. The article then focuses on the specific dilemmas that can arise in balancing the need to provide patients with access to quality care in a nondiscriminatory manner, while also ensuring the safety of health care workers who deliver that care.

In addition, the authors reflect on how the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and The Joint Commission address workplace safety concerns. They also review recent cases illustrating these challenges and analyze potential solutions to curb workplace violence in health care.

Ms. Pelkey is a member of Lewis Brisbois’ Healthcare, Labor & Employment, and Healthcare, Regulatory & Compliance Practices. She focuses her practice on healthcare litigation and health law, including behavioral health, provider issues, medical liability, risk management, and regulatory compliance. Additionally, she represents employers regarding a wide range of employment law issues, including discrimination and harassment, wage and hour, disability accommodations, and terminations.

You can view the full Health Law Connections article here.

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