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July 2, 2024
California's Sweeping Workplace Violence Prevention Mandate
Aspen Risk Management Group, a TRISTAR Company

California has enacted Senate Bill (SB) 553, effective July 1, 2024, which mandates that nearly all California employers establish and implement a comprehensive workplace violence prevention plan (WVPP).  The WVPP must include procedures for incident reporting, hazard identification and inspection, training, employee involvement, and periodic review.  Additionally, SB 428, effective January 1, 2025, allows an expansion of the law for employers to seek temporary restraining orders and injunctions against individuals who have threatened violence against employees.  This law empowers employers to take legal action proactively to prevent potential workplace violence incidents.

 

These laws aim to create a regulatory framework for workplace violence prevention across various industries.

 

SB 553: Mandatory Workplace Violence Prevention Plans

 

Mandates employers establish and implement a comprehensive WVPP and include procedures for:

 

  • Reporting and investigating workplace violence incidents
  • Identifying, evaluating, and correcting workplace violence hazards
  • Providing training and communicating the plan to employees
  • Conducting periodic reviews and updates to the plan
  • Employee involvement in developing and implementing the plan

 

Cal/OSHA is responsible for enforcing SB 553 and ensuring employer compliance.  Failure to comply can result in significant penalties, including fines of up to $25,000 for serious violations and up to $158,727 for willful violations.

 

SB 428: Empowering Employers to Seek Legal Recourse

 

Complementing SB 553, SB 428, effective January 1, 2025, allows employers to seek temporary restraining orders and injunctions against individuals who have threatened violence against employees.  This law provides a legal avenue for employers to proactively prevent potential workplace violence incidents by restricting access to the workplace for individuals deemed a threat.

 

Next Steps

 

Together, these laws represent California's employer mandates to create a plan for workplace violence prevention.  Employers must act swiftly to develop and implement WVPPs that comply with SB 553's requirements.  Additionally, they should be prepared to leverage the legal tools provided by SB 428 when necessary.

 

Need help with your WVPP.  Aspen Risk Management Group offers services, including plan development, training, inspections, and video creation for all aspects of the new regulations.  

 

 
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