Compliance Matters TM

Workplace Violence Prevention Plan Deadline Approaching

Introduction. As we noted in the April 5, 2024 compliance matters issue [here], Governor Newsom signed a new law last fall requiring most of California's employers to establish, implement, and maintain a new written Workplace Violence Prevention Plan by July 1, 2024. The new law was modeled after 2017 Cal/OSHA Workplace Violence Prevention regulations for the health care industry. In response, BRGS has partnered with the California Hotel and Lodging Association to create a model plan and step-by-step instructions for creating the Plan and achieving compliance.


Covered Employers/Workplaces. The new law covers nearly all private employers in California unless they are already subject to Cal/OSHA's existing rule for health care workers. Workplaces with fewer than 10 employees working at any given time that are not accessible to the public are also exempt if they have a compliant IIPP.


Your Compliance To-Do List.  The law's four basic requirements are: (i) creation of a written Workplace Violence Prevention Plan by July 1, 2024; (ii) maintenance of a workplace violence incident log akin to your Cal/OSHA incident log; (iii) employee training; and (iv) employer recordkeeping.


The Plan. The Plan must be specific to the workplace. It may be incorporated into an existing Injury & Illness Prevention Plan as a standalone section or maintained as a separate document altogether (similar to COVID-19 Prevention Plans). 

The Plan must be reviewed annually for effectiveness and then again when a deficiency is observed or after the occurrence of a workplace violence incident. At a minimum, the Plan must consist of the following ten (10) items: (i) the names of those responsible for the Plan's implementation; (ii) employee participation in developing/ implementing the Plan; (iii) methods for coordinating implementation with other employers who may be present at the workplace; (iv) procedures for employers to receive and respond to reports of workplace violence; (v) procedures to ensure compliance with the Plan (e.g., rewarding compliance and punishing noncompliance); (vi) emergency response and communication protocols; (vii) workplace violence training information; (viii) procedures to identify and evaluate workplace violence hazards at certain intervals (i.e., when the plan is first implemented, periodically thereafter, following an incident of workplace violence, and whenever a new hazard becomes known); (ix) procedures to timely correct workplace violence hazards identified; and (x) procedures for post-incident response and investigation.


Workplace Violence Incident Log. Employers will now need to maintain a separate Cal/OSHA log for incidents of workplace violence, but the law does not create any new employer reporting requirements. The log must consist of all incidents of workplace violence, even if the incident does not result in injury. The log must be maintained for a minimum of five years and made available to Cal/OSHA upon request. Notably, employers must exclude personal identifying information that would identify any person involved in the incident. There are also special rules for multi-employer worksites.


Workplace Violence Training. Employers must provide all employees with effective interactive workplace violence training: (i) when the Plan is first established; (ii) on an annual basis thereafter; and (iii) when a new or previously unrecognized workplace violence hazard is identified and/or the Plan is revised. The law details the required topics for the training.


Recordkeeping Requirements.  There is a five (5) year recordkeeping rule for: (i) records pertaining to your workplace violence hazard identification, evaluation, and correction methods; (ii) records of any workplace violence incident investigations; and (iii) incident logs. Training records must be kept for a minimum of 1 year. 


Next Steps. Now is the time to begin preparing your Workplace Violence Prevention Plan as the July 1, 2024, deadline is just around the corner. As the Plan must be specific to the hazards of each workplace, employers should spend time analyzing their workplace and formulating effective response protocols for a workplace violence incident. For example, employers should evaluate evacuation routes, shelter in-place locations, and methods for immediately alerting employees of a violent incident in the workplace. Employers also should evaluate and discuss how to best achieve employee participation in the creation and maintenance of the Plan because active employee participation is mandatory. Employers in multi-employer worksites should consult with the other employers to coordinate implementation of the Plan and to ensure recordkeeping compliance.

Finally, like most other employee protective legislation, the new law contains anti-retaliation provisions to protect employees who lodge complaints or concerns about the employer's Plan or planning process. Employers should ensure that management at all levels of the organization and HR team are aware of and embrace these new important requirements.

The firm has created a model Plan and toolkit to assist companies in implementing   a compliant Workplace Violence Prevention Plan. Click this link to access the toolkit and click here to access the 60 minute webinar explaining all the necessary steps to create and implement the Workplace Violence Prevention Plan. The toolkit consists of a model plan which you can modify to create your own plan and a detailed FAQ which contains a step-by-step explanation of the plan requirements. The 60 minute webinar features Katherine A. Hren and Charles W. Foster of our office . Call your contact at the firm for more information. If you are new to the Firm, you may call (818) 508-3700. Be sure to mention the new Cal/OSHA Workplace Violence Prevention Plan and you will be directed to a lawyer who can assist you.  


Richard S. Rosenberg

Katherine A. Hren

Charles W. Foster
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