At Mehtani Law Offices, P.C., our Beverly Hills employment law attorneys know that California laws change throughout the year, and Senate Bill 553 (SB 553) is the latest legislation that aims to — quite literally — protect workers from violence in the workplace.
Here is what California employees need to know about the newest law.
SB 553: Workplace Violence Prevention
Effective July 1, 2024, California employers must update their existing injury and illness prevention programs to include workplace violence prevention plans (WVPP) that must be in writing, easily accessible to employees, and in compliance with the state’s injury and illness prevention program.
The plan must offer a reporting channel for incidents and threats of violence and establish logs where threats and acts of violence are centrally tracked.
Employers will be required to maintain the following records for five years:
- Records of workplace violence hazard identification, evaluation, and correction.
- Workplace violence incident investigations.
- Violent incident logs.
Employers are required to train employees in workplace violence prevention once per year, and all new employees are required to train immediately upon hiring after the law’s effective date.
Training must include:
- The definitions and requirements of the law.
- The WVPP plan and how employees can obtain copies.
- How to report workplace violence incidents or concerns without fear of reprisal.
- Workplace violence hazards specific to employees’ jobs, the corrective measures the employer has implemented, how to seek assistance to prevent or respond to violence, and strategies to avoid physical harm.
- The violent incident log and how to obtain copies of records.
- An opportunity for interactive questions and answers with someone knowledgeable about the employer’s plan.
Employees and their representatives are entitled to records reflecting hazard identification, evaluation and correction, and violent incident logs within 15 days of request.
All WVPP records required under the statute must be made available to the Division of Occupational Safety and Health, or Cal/OSHA, upon request. Cal/OSHA will enforce the new law through its standard inspection, citation, and penalty framework.
Employer locations with no public access and fewer than ten employees are exempted, along with healthcare facilities, facilities operated by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, certain law enforcement agencies, and teleworkers.
Contact Our Experienced Employment Law Attorneys in Beverly Hills, California Today
If you believe your workplace rights have been violated, contact our skilled employment lawyers in Los Angeles County at (310)-776-3590 at Mehtani Law Offices, P.C. to schedule a free consultation today to discuss your unique circumstances with a law firm that can help pursue real results for your case.