We want to Remind Employers that Starting July 1, 2024 You Need a Workplace Violence Preventive Plan

We want to Remind Employers that Starting July 1, 2024 You Need a Workplace Violence Preventive Plan

By July 1, 2024, California employers are required to have a written plan against workplace violence. “Workplace Violence” encompasses any act or threat that may lead to physical harm, psychological distress, or undue stress, impacting not only employees but also clients, contractors, and guests. The ripple effects of workplace violence extend beyond the immediate victims, affecting your business and community. SB 553 aims to mitigate these risks by embedding a proactive safety and awareness culture within all sectors.  To comply with the law, employers must follow a 5-step compliance plan:

  1. 1. Create the Workplace Violence Prevention Plan.
  2. 2. Incorporate Illness and Injury Prevention Program (“IIPP”) Requirements.
  3. 3. Train Employees.
  4. 4. Record Incidents of Violence.
  5. 5. Property Maintain a Log and Records.


1. The Plan Must:

    • Identify who is responsible for implementing the plan;
  • Have a system for identifying and evaluating workplace hazards;
  • Outline methods and procedures to timely correct unsafe or unhealthy conditions and work practices;
  • Include an occupational health and safety (“OSHA”) training program to teach safe and healthy work practices, including instruction specific to an employee’s specific job hazards;
  • Provide protocols to ensure that employees comply with safe and healthy work practices, which may include disciplinary actions;
  • Allow for employee participation in developing and implementing the plan, as well as identify, evaluate, and correct workplace violence hazards;
  • Include procedures for accepting and responding to reports of workplace violence, including a prohibition on retaliating against the employee making the report;
  • State how to communicate workplace violence matters (without fear of retaliation);
  • Layout procedures to investigate employee concerns;
  • Specify procedures to respond to an actual or potential workplace violence emergency, including the means to alert employees of the emergency and obtain help from staff designated to respond, and evacuation and shelter plans; and
  • Have procedures in place for post-incident response and investigation.


2. Include IIPP protocols to:

  • Create systems to communicate OSHA matters, such as meetings, trainings, postings, written communications, committees, etc.;
  • Periodically inspect when new substances, processes, equipment, or procedures come into the workplace, and when the employer becomes aware of a new or previously unrecognized hazard; and
  • Provide employees the opportunity to examine and receive a copy of any workplace injury and illness reports no later than five business days after the request for access is received.


3. Annual Training:

Annual training must review the plan and terms noted above, as well as allow employees to ask questions and to obtain copies of the plan and workplace violence incidents. The training is required for all new employees, employees who are given new job assignments, and all employees when a new hazard is presented by newly introduced substances, procedures, processes, or equipment.


4. Recording Incidents:

Employers must record each violent incident in a log with information from an employee who witnessed the incident, other witness statements, or investigative findings (excluding personal identifying information).  The log should include:

  • Date, time, and location of the incident;
  • Workplace violence type (excluding self defense), such as physical force or threat of physical force, use of a weapon, animal attack, or sexual assault or threat of sexual assault – there are four distinct workplace violence types classified:
    •           •Type 1 is workplace violence committed by someone with no legitimate business interests at the worksite;
    •           •Type 2 is violence directed at employees by customers, clients, patients, students, inmates, or visitors;
    •           •Type 3 is violence between two current employees or one current and one former employee; and
    •           •Type 4 is violence committed by a non-employee who has a personal relationship with an employee.
  • Detailed description of the event;
  • Classification of the offender, such as client, customer, family, friend, stranger, co-worker, supervisor, or other descriptive title;
  • Circumstances of the incident;
  • Incident location (e.g. workplace, parking lot, etc.);
  • Actions taken report to law enforcement, actions taken to protect the employees, etc.; and
  • Name and job title of the person who made the log entry and the date completed.

5. Properly Maintain Records:

Keep records of each workplace violence incident for at least five years. Training records must be saved for a minimum of one year. Violent incident logs and records of workplace violence investigations must be retained for a minimum of one year.


As you can see, California is serious about avoiding workplace violence.  Employers should document all instances of workplace violence and meticulously track the execution of your prevention strategy. Ensure training records are preserved as mandated.

For assistance, we urge you to contact our office promptly to schedule an appointment for further discussion.  Please feel free to contact Dawn at: dcoulson@eppscoulson.com.

Information contained in this Memo is intended for informational and educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.  It is likely considered advertising.  Epps & Coulson, LLP encourages you to call to discuss these matters as they apply to you or your business.  Epps & Coulson, LLP attorneys and affiliated counsel admitted to practice in New York, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Hawaii, Oregon, Texas, European Union, France, England and Wales and Sweden.