New Jersey Law Aims to Protect Employees with Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders
Did you know that 1 in 10 people will experience a seizure-related event in their life? In recognition of the importance of responding appropriately to such events, the State of New Jersey has taken a significant step in promoting workplace awareness and readiness for events related to epilepsy or seizure disorders.
So, how exactly will workplace personnel be equipped to take the correct action in assisting an individual undergoing a seizure? And how is this relevant to labor law postings?
New Jersey’s New Seizure Preparedness Legislation
Passed on November 20, 2023, New Jersey Assembly Bill A2583 addresses the issue of seizures in the workplace and provides employers with an option to display a seizure and epilepsy awareness pamphlet or poster in the workplace. The posting is optional but provides critical information in the event someone has a seizure at work.
GovDocs will provide this as an optional poster for customers with locations in New Jersey and will be released in February 2024.
A few important facts outlined in the poster that employers and employees should recognize are:
- Epilepsy is not contagious and cannot be transferred to another person
- If medication is taken regularly, most individuals will not experience a seizure
The poster also outlines that in the event a seizure does occur:
- Remember to turn the person on their side
- Remove any objects on the person
- Position a pillow or something soft under the person’s head
- Stay calm and time the seizure
New Jersey “Paul’s Law” for Epilepsy, Seizure Education, and Awareness
It’s worth noting that this legislation may not have been passed without the State’s previous implementation of a similar measure in schools. Paul’s Law, championed by New Jersey youth Paul Quinn St. Pierre, provides support and guidance for school faculty when dealing with students who have epilepsy and other seizure disorders. On January 9, 2020 Governor Murphy signed this legislation requiring training for school personnel and individual health action plans for students in case of crisis.
Other States with Similar Legislation
On July 1, 2022, Virginia legislators passed the “Jamie and Brie Strong Act” and the Seizure Aware Workplaces legislation. Similar to New Jersey, this law contributes to a safer and more compliant community, requiring employers with 25 or more employees to display the poster provided by the Virginia Department of Labor in areas that are visible to employees.
The Virginia poster was released by GovDocs in June of 2022 for customers with locations in Virginia.
What’s Next for Seizure and Epilepsy Compliance?
With these two largely populated states passing potentially life-saving legislation, which states will follow suit? Will more states implement similar or more rigid provisions? Either way, GovDocs will track and monitor these changes, so you don’t have to.