Citing increased online harassment of healthcare workers during the pandemic, Colorado Governor Jared Polis (D) signed legislation last week making it illegal to post personal information about healthcare workers, including home health aides, that threatens their safety.
“What they have been through this last year is absolutely extraordinary,” said Polis as he signed the legislation into law.
Harassment against healthcare workers has escalated since the COVID-19 pandemic started more than a year ago. Last May, a coalition of global medical and humanitarian groups, including the International Red Cross, condemned attacks against healthcare workers. The coalition said healthcare workers in the U.S. faced public harassment due to possible exposure to the coronavirus.
In a study late last year, the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry found healthcare workers faced a 50% increased risk of bullying and harassment related to the pandemic.
The Colorado law makes it a misdemeanor to share a person’s private information such as an address of phone number. Violators face up to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine.