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    May 2024

    California employees have until July 1, 2024 to prepare and implement a Workplace Violence Prevention Plan (“WVPP”). In 2023, the California Senate introduced Senate Bill (SB) 553 for the purpose of reducing instances of workplace violence. SB 533 was signed into law in September 2023, which was then codified under Labor Code section 6401.9. The requirement for employers to prepare and implement a WVPP, however, were pushed back to July 1, 2024 in part to give Cal/OSHA time to develop a model program.

    Who Must Comply?
    Almost all California employer must comply with the requirements of Labor Code section 6401.9, including both public and private employers. A limited exception applies for places of employment with less than 10 employees present at a given time and which is not accessible to the public. Certain health care facilities are also exempt from the requirements.

    What Must Be Included in the WVPP ?
    According to Cal/OSHA’s website and its model plan, the WVPP needs to include policies and procedures to evaluate and identify workplace violence risks, steps to reducing those risks, procedures for receiving, reviewing, investigating, and responding to incidents of workplace violence, and workplace violence prevention training. The Cal/OSHA model plan asks employers to include the following in the WVPP:

    • Identifying the person or persons responsible for implementing the plan;
    • Procedures for accepting and responding to reports of workplace violence;
    • Policies barring retaliation against employees who report workplace violence incidents or participate in workplace violence investigations;
    • Steps for how to communicate with employees regarding workplace violence;
    • Systems for responding to actual or potential emergency situations;
    • Procedures for developing and providing effective workplace violence training; and
    • Steps for Identifying, evaluating, and correcting workplace violence hazards.

    The WVPP may be a stand-alone document or may be integrated into an existing Injury and Illness Prevention Program (“IIPP”).

    What is Workplace Violence?
    Labor Code section 6401.9 defines four types of workplace violence:

    (1) workplace violence committed by a person who has no legitimate business at the worksite, and includes violent acts by anyone who enters the workplace or approaches workers with the intent to commit a crime.
    (2) workplace violence directed at employees by customers, clients, patients, students, inmates, or visitors.
    (3) workplace violence against an employee by a present or former employee, supervisor, or manager.
    (4) workplace violence committed in the workplace by a person who does not work there, but has or is known to have had a personal relationship with an employee.

    Workplace violence does not include lawful acts of self-defense or defense of others.

    What Are the Recordkeeping Requirements?
    Labor Code section 6401.9 requires employers to maintain records as follows:

    (1) Workplace violence hazard identification and evaluation records. These records must be maintained for at least five years.
    (2) Workplace incident investigation records. These records must be maintained for at least five years.
    (3) Violent incidents logs. Every violent incident must be logged with detailed information, including a description of the incident, investigative findings, and corrective actions. The logs, however, must not include personal identifying information. The logs must be maintained for at least five years.
    (4) Training records. The records must include the dates of training, content summary of the training, names of the qualified individuals conducing the training, and the names and titles of all persons attending. These training records must be kept for a minimum of one year.

    What Are the Training Requirements?
    Labor Code section 6401.9 requires training when the WVPP is implemented, annually thereafter, and when a previously unrecognized workplace violence has been identified and changes have been made to the plan.
    Training needs to include:

    (1) Details of the WVPP, how to obtain a copy at no cost, and how employees may participate in the development and implementation of the plan;
    (2) The definition and requirements of section 6401.9;
    (3) How to report workplace violence incidents or concerns to the employer or law enforcement without fear of reprisal;
    (4) Identification of workplace violence hazards specific to the employees’ jobs, what corrective measures have been taken, how to seek assistance to prevent or respond to violence, and strategies to avoid physical harm;
    (5) Details about the violent incident log;
    (6) Question and answers for persons with knowledge about the plan.

    For more information contact:

    Matthew Wallin

    (424) 317-4423

    Matthew Wallin is a partner in the Los Angeles office where he practices labor and employment law.  He has extensive experience defending private business and public entities in litigation and advising clients on labor compliance issues.  

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