Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Bill Aimed at Seizure Safety in Workplace Heads to Governor’s Desk

York High School senior Jamie Van Cleave, pictured with HB1178 Chief Sponsor Del. Avoli, has championed a bill that would require seizure first aid steps to be visibly posted in the workplace. Now it heads to the governor’s desk. (Courtesy of Christie Van Cleave)

YORKTOWN — A House Bill that would require businesses with 25 or more employees to post seizure first aid steps, visible to all employees, is headed to Gov. Youngkin’s desk. 

Introduced by 18-year-old Jamie Van Cleave, HB 1178 requires that all Virginia employers with 25 or more employees post the seizure first aid steps in a visible spot so the employees see it on a regular basis and know how to administer first aid to people who may need it.

Seizure first aid information is on a poster from the Epilepsy Foundation of America, which is available in 14 different languages and lists the steps to take when someone is having a seizure.

“I’m so excited about the bill passing because it will help more people,” Jamie said. (Courtesy of Christie Van Cleave)

HB1178 passed both the House and Senate unanimously.

By the time it made its way through the House and Senate, the bill picked up a total of 20 bipartisan sponsors, with Sen. Thomas Norment (R) and Sen. Ghazala Hashmi (D) co-sponsoring. 

The York High School senior has dealt with seizures for ten and a half years before she underwent brain surgery last year, which has since left her seizure-free.

“The bill is so important to me because I have been in situations where no one knew how to respond, but now more people will be aware,” Jamie said. “I’m so excited about the bill passing because it will help more people.”

This is the second bill that Jamie has championed. In 2020, Jamie, along with her friend, Brie Gesick, another Virginia teen with epilepsy, announced the Jamie and Brie Strong Act for Seizure Safe Schools in the Virginia General Assembly.

The bill requires biannual training for teachers and staff, while making sure that students have a seizure action plan.

Both Seizure Safe Schools and Seizure Aware Workplaces will take effect starting July 1.

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