The American Nurses Association (ANA) is disturbed about reports of employers retaliating against nurses and other health care workers for raising legitimate concerns about their personal safety while caring for patients with COVID-19. Reports of intimidation, firing, ostracizing and more are unacceptable.
Institutional support for nurses is a non-negotiable necessity in the workplace. Ongoing, transparent and effective communication between nurses and employers about nurses’ ability to provide care safely to patients is essential. Nurses’ voices must be heard and valued at all levels of a health care organization.
ANA expressed concerns to the U.S. Department of Labor and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We appreciate OSHA’s efforts to remind employers that retaliation against health care workers is illegal. Nurses who are experiencing acts of retaliation from their employer are urged to file a whistleblower complaint online with OSHA or call 1-800-321-OSHA. We urge OSHA to act quickly to address whistleblower complaints related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nurses must not be retaliated against for raising their concerns and speaking out. ANA condemns employers that retaliate against nurses for advocating on behalf of themselves and their patients.
The American Nurses Association (ANA) is the premier organization representing the interests of the nation’s 4 million registered nurses. ANA advances the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting a safe and ethical work environment, bolstering the health and wellness of nurses, and advocating on health care issues that affect nurses and the public. ANA is at the forefront of improving the quality of health care for all. For more information, visit www.nursingworld.org.