California has officially passed SB 553 which expanded Cal-OSHA rules to require employers to implement protections against workplace violence by July 1, 2024. Here’s what you need to know:

Details of the new California workplace violence prevention law

This is an expansion of existing Injury and Illness Prevention Plan (IIPP) requirements that currently exist in California. This new law applies to all California employers, employees, places of employment, and employer-provided housing, with some exceptions.

Employers and employees not subject to the law include:

  • Employees teleworking from a location that is not under the control of the employer
  • Places of employment not accessible to the public where less than 10 employees work at any given time, as long as the employer complies with the other IIPP requirements
  • Certain state-regulated industries like some healthcare and corrections facilities.

Employers subject to these new requirements have three main compliance obligations:

1. Create and implement a workplace violence prevention plan

Employers must create a written plan that prevents and responds to workplace violence. It can be incorporated with an existing IIPP or maintained as a separate document. The key aspects of this plan are the procedures that all employees are required to follow, which include:

  • Identifying and recording workplace violence hazards
  • Reporting workplace violence
  • Responding to reports while preventing retaliation
  • Responding and investigating after the incident

This plan must be written, and it may be incorporated with an existing IIPP or maintained as a separate document. Employers must maintain records of workplace violence hazard identification, evaluation, and correction for a minimum of five years.

2. Maintain a workplace violence incident log

Employers must log any incident of workplace violence, even if an injury doesn’t occur. Specific information must be included, like the date, location, circumstances, and other details of the event.

Employers must also log information about what the consequences of the incident were and what further steps were taken to protect employees from future threats. The log must exclude any personal identifying information that might identify individuals involved in the incident.

Logs must be maintained for a minimum of five years.

3. Annually train employees on workplace violence

Employees must be initially trained on the workplace violence plan when it is implemented and receive additional annual training after that. This training must familiarize employees with the information in their plan, like the procedure for reporting incidents. The training should also identify any hazards that are specific to the employees’ jobs and corrective measures that have been implemented to prevent and report hazards.

Additionally, employees must be provided with an opportunity to have an interactive discussion with someone knowledgeable about the employer’s plan. And records of these trainings must be created and maintained for at least one year.

Create your workplace violence prevention plan with SixFifty

SixFifty is developing a California workplace violence plan engine to help our customers comply with this new requirement by creating their customized workplace violence prevention plan and incident report log.

This engine will be released in the coming months, giving you plenty of time to create your plan by the July 1, 2024 deadline. We’ll let our SixFifty users know as soon as we add the new tool to our Employment Docs platform.

If you’re not yet a SixFifty user, and would like to see how our employment platform helps multi-state businesses stay compliant with ever-changing employment law (without feeling like you have to be a legal expert yourself), drop us a line.