- Associated Press - Thursday, May 12, 2011

BERLIN, Vt. (AP) — There’s a new law on the Vermont books to protect the state’s health care workers from assault.

On Thursday, Gov. Peter Shumlin signed the new law outside the emergency room at the Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin.

Medical center employees had pressed lawmakers for the new law, saying in recent years there had been a sharp increase in assaults, particularly in the emergency room. Hospital officials say one nurse recently had an arm broken. Others have had bodily fluids thrown at them.

The bill makes it a felony to assault on-the-job health care workers. Repeated offenses could carry a penalty of 10 years in prison.

CVMC President Judy Tarr President told members of the hospital assembled for the signing being assaulted is not a part of their jobs.

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