California’s Workplace Prevention Plan Law BLOG POST

  • April 24, 2024
  • Blog

Beginning July 1, 2024, SB 553 will take effect requiring California employers to establish, implement, and maintain a workplace violence prevention plan. Under SB 533, workplace violence is broadly defined as any act of violence or threat of violence in the place of employment. Implementing a workplace violence prevention plan is intended to bring awareness of preventive measures that can be taken to deal with threatening, intimidating, and potentially violent behavior.

SB 553 applies to all California employees and employers. However, employees who telework, places of employment with less than 10 employees and where the location is not accessible by the public, and healthcare facilities already covered by Cal/OSHA’s Workplace Violence in Healthcare Standard are exempt from SB 553.

An employer’s workplace violence prevention plan must include provisions such as prohibiting employee retaliation, employee training and communication, emergency response, workplace violence hazard assessments, and maintaining a violent incident log. Some additional requirements include the names of persons responsible for its implementation, procedures to help ensure compliance, and procedures for post-incident response and investigation.

Cal/OSHA has recently published a model workplace violence prevention plan that is designed to help employers in drafting their own plans. Employers can create their own plan or can use Cal/OSHA’s model plan as their own or as a template.  Cal/OSHA has also published a fact sheet with helpful information for California employers. This fact sheet includes information on employer responsibilities and recordkeeping requirements, requirements for a violent incident log, and training employees on workplace violence.

California employers are required to train employees when their plan is implemented. Because the plan must be enacted prior to July 1, 2024, employers are expected to train employees prior to July 1, 2024. Additionally, employers must continue to provide training for employees annually.

It is recommended that employers begin preparing a workplace violence prevention plan, review the Cal/OSHA’s model plan and fact sheet, and identify individuals who will implement the plan and be responsible for maintaining it going forward.

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