The legislation is now headed to Gov. Bob McDonnell's desk for his signature. The measure would make it a class-one misdemeanor to assault any emergency health care provider. The punishment is more strict than for a regular assault.
Similar protections already exist for judges, law enforcement officers, firefighters and teachers.
Twenty-six states already allow for tougher penalties for assaulting health care workers. The bill's sponser, Delegate Christopher Stolle says emergency room employees are more likely to be assaulted than the average U.S. worker.