Senate Bill 553 requires California businesses to create a violence prevention plan

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Effective July 1, 2024, Senate Bill 553 will require many California businesses to create a violence prevention plan and implement employee training programs.

Who needs to comply?

This applies to businesses with 10 or more employees and workplaces accessible to the public (such as retail stores or coffee shops).

Exempt businesses include small workspaces with fewer than 10 employees unavailable to the public (as long as they are in compliance with Cal/OSHA’s Injury and Illness Prevention Program Standard), teleworking employees, certain healthcare facilities, and law enforcement/correctional facilities.

What does Senate Bill 553 require?

Senate Bill 553 has two main components: a written violence prevention plan and employee training programs. The written plan should delineate responsibilities, actively engage employees in its development, facilitate coordination with other employers, outline reporting and responding to violence, establish communication protocols, detail emergency response procedures, and include a framework for reviewing the plan’s effectiveness.

Employees must be trained according to the violence prevention plan no later than July 1, 2024, and annually after that. The training must include the employer’s plan, reporting violence incidents, workplace-specific violence hazards and measures, accessing assistance, understanding the violence incident log, and interactive Q&A sessions.

When do I need to comply?

Violence prevention plan training must occur before July 1, 2024. Failure to comply could result in violations ranging from civil penalties to misdemeanors.

How do I get started?

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) recently published a model plan for complying with Senate Bill 553.

This model can be used as a template to assist employers in creating their violence prevention plans. The template includes several questions and examples to consider when assessing risk.

Creating a timeline for writing the violence prevention plan and implementing employee training will be essential to staying on track and avoiding penalties. A law firm like Larson & Gaston, with experience in employment law, can help steer your business toward compliance.

Let’s create a plan. Contact us.