Common Sense Advice And Uncommon Legal Results

Compliance Alert: Most California Employers Must Adopt and Implement a Workplace Violence Prevention Plan by July 1, 2024

by | May 28, 2024 | blog, Employment Law |

By July 1, 2024, nearly all California employers must adopt and implement a Workplace Violence Prevention Plan (WVPP), provide the first round of annual training, and maintain an effective Violent Incident Log. The new law, SB 553, is codified as Labor Code section 6401.9. Similar to an Injury and Illness Prevention Plan (IIPP), the WVPP has a number of requirements (see below). In March, Cal/OSHA released its model Workplace Violence Prevention Plan, which employers may use as a template for their own plan.

Covered Employers & Exemptions

Private and public employers with California employees must comply, with some limited exceptions including:

  • Employees who telework from a location of their choice
  • Business locations not accessible to the public where fewer than 10 employees work at a given time, so long as the employer has an existing Injury and Illness Prevention Plan
  • Employers already covered by Cal/OSHA’s Violence Prevention in Health Care standard (or employers who already comply with that standard)
  • Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and law enforcement agencies

Key Components of the Workplace Violence Prevention Plan

The model Workplace Violence Prevention Plan published by Cal/OSHA includes all the required information necessary for compliance, including but not limited to, identifying persons (names or job titles) responsible for the WVPP, and procedures for the following:

  • Involving employees and their representatives in the development and implementation of the WVPP
  • Coordinating implementation of the WVPP and training with other employers such as staffing agencies
  • Accepting and responding to reports of workplace violence, and to prohibiting retaliation against reporting employees
  • Ensuring employee compliance
  • Communicating with employees about how to report violent incidents, threats, or workplace violence concerns to their employer or law enforcement and how concerns will be investigated and results communicated
  • Responding to actual and potential workplace violence emergencies
  • Identifying, evaluating, and correcting workplace violence hazards
  • Performing post incident responses and investigations
  • Reviewing WVPP effectiveness annually, when deficiency is apparent, or after a workplace violence incident

The WVPP may be incorporated into the employer’s IIPP or maintained as a separate standalone document.

Record Keeping

Violent Incident Logs must be kept on file for five years and training records must be kept on file for one year.

If you need assistance in developing a compliant Workplace Violence Prevention Plan, or training employees, or have other questions including whether your business may be exempt from the new law, please contact one of our attorneys.