Employers, please have your Workplace Violence Prevention Plans in place by July 1, 2024

Last Updated 3/12/2024

As a result of California Senate Bill 553 (SB 553) enacted in 2023, employers are required to establish, implement, and maintain an effective, written Workplace Violence Prevention Plan (WVPP).  SB 553 amended Labor Code section 6401.7 to require employers to develop and implement a workplace violence prevention plan in accordance with newly codified Labor Code section 6401.9, which sets out the requirements for the plan. Starting July 1, 2024, the majority of employers in California must set up a WVPP that includes:

  • Prohibiting employee retaliation;
  • Accepting and responding to reports of workplace violence;
  • Employee workplace violence training and communication;
  • Emergency response;
  • Workplace violence hazard assessments;
  • Other requirements, such as maintaining a Violent Incident Log.

Conveniently, Cal/OSHA has drafted a general industry model plan for employers to use as they see fit for their workplaces.  Employers are not required to use this model WVPP. They may create their own, use another WVPP template, or incorporate workplace violence prevention into their existing Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) as a separate section. Cal/OSHA requires employers to engage with employees in developing and implementing their WVPP. The model plan is intended to help employers develop a separate, stand-alone Workplace Violence Prevention Plan (WVPP). It was written for a broad spectrum of employers, and it may not match your establishment's exact needs. However, it provides the essential framework to identify, evaluate, and control workplace violence hazards.

Employers should note that use of the model program does not ensure compliance with section 6401.9. Employers are liable for any violations of the section regardless of use of the model program.

Proper use of the model program requires the employer to identify and ensure that the person or person(s) responsible for implementing the plan:

  • Review the full requirements of Labor Code sections 6401.7 and 6401.9;
  • Review the requirements for each of the WVPP elements found in the model plan as specified above, ensure workplace violence concerns are incorporated, fill in the appropriate blank spaces/instructions in red font enclosed in brackets, and check those items that are applicable to their workplace;
  • Read workplace violence guidelines and fact sheets for more information;
  • Obtain the active involvement of employees and their authorized employee representatives in developing and implementing the plan;
  • Make the plan available and easily accessible to affected employees, authorized employee representatives, and representatives of Cal/OSHA at all times.

Our attorneys at Rosasco Law Group are experts in making sure our clients are up-to-date with all workplace requirements, such as employee handbooks, IIPPs, and now the new WVPPs.  Give our office a call to get a head start with your new WVPPs to ensure you are in compliance by July 1, 2024.

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