Deadline Approaching for New CA Workplace Violence Prevention Plan Requirements

By Jana Bjorklund, GovDocs Senior Counsel and
Director, Employment Law and Compliance
Published March 21, 2024

California Workplace Violence Prevention July 2024 GovDocs

California employers who are subject to this law and have not begun the process of creating a WVVP should start now to meet the compliance deadline of July 1, 2024. 

Workplace Violence Prevention Plans for California Employers Due July 1, 2024 

Last year, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 553 into law, which requires employers with at least 10 employees in California to develop and implement a Workplace Violence Prevention Plan (WVPP) by July 1, 2024. The requirements include training employees on the WVPP and how to identify and avoid workplace violence along with creating and maintaining a violent incident log. 

Definition of Workplace Violence 

Workplace violence is defined as “any act of violence or threat of violence that occurs in a place of employment.”  It includes threats of violence or threats of the use of a dangerous weapon, regardless of whether the employee sustains an injury. It should be noted that a dangerous weapon includes the use of common objects as weapons. 

Workplace violence is categorized into four types, which include violence from the following sources: 

  • Violence from someone who has no legitimate business at the workplace 
  • Violence from a customer, patient, student, or visitor 
  • Violence from a present or former employee 
  • Violence from an individual who does not work there but has, or had, a relationship with the employee 

Elements of a Workplace Violence Prevention Plan 

Employers must involve employees in the development of the WVPP, which should include the following elements: 

  • Names or job titles of individuals responsible for the WVPP 
  • Procedures to obtain active involvement of employees 
  • Methods the employer will use to coordinate implementation 
  • Procedures to accept and respond to reports of workplace violence and prevent retaliation  
  • Procedures to ensure all employees, including management, comply with the WVPP 
  • Procedures to communicate with employees regarding workplace violence matters 
  • Details about how employee concerns will be investigated and how employees will be informed of results and consequences 
  • Procedures to respond to actual or potential workplace violence emergencies 
  • Procedures to develop and provide training 
  • Procedures to identify and evaluate workplace violence hazards 
  • Procedures to correct identified workplace violence hazards 
  • Procedures for post-incident response and investigation 
  • Procedures to review the effectiveness of the WVPP 

Incident Logs 

Employers need to keep an incident log of workplace violence incidents and the log needs to include: 

  • The specifics of each workplace violence incident – date, time, location, description  
  • Who committed the violence and if it was conducted during regular job duties 
  • The type of violence involved – physical, verbal 
  • The consequences of the incident – medical treatment needed, whether law enforcement was contacted 
  • The name and contact information of the person completing the incident  

Training Requirements 

Employees must be trained at the time the WVPP is rolled out and annually thereafter. Training is also required if the employer makes changes to the WVPP or when a new or previously unidentified workplace violence hazard is discovered. 

The training must include and cover the following: 

  • Overview of the WVPP 
  • How employees can obtain a copy of the WVPP 
  • How to report workplace violence hazards and incidents 
  • Corrective measures implemented by the employer 
  • Strategies to avoid physical harm 
  • The incident log and how to obtain a copy 

Recordkeeping Requirements 

There is a lengthy recordkeeping requirement for documents related to an employer’s WVPP. Incident logs, records of violent incidents, and investigation documentation into workplace violence events must be kept for five years. Training records must be kept for a minimum of one year. 

Additional Resources 

On March 7, 2024, the California Department of Industrial Relations Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) published a model workplace prevention plan to assist employers with developing their own tailored violence prevention plans. The template includes examples and fill-in-the-blank sections for worksite specific information. A copy of the model workplace prevention plan can be located at:  https://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/puborder.asp  

Cal/OSHA also published several fact sheets that provide employers and workers with information on their rights and obligations which can be located at: 




California employers who are subject to this law and have not begun the process of creating a WVVP should start now to meet the compliance deadline of July 1, 2024. 

The GovDocs Employment Law and Compliance Team is continually monitoring employment law legislation that impacts employers. Subscribe to Employment Law News to keep up to date on the latest developments in the world of employment law. 

This Employment Law News blog is intended for market awareness only, it is not to be used for legal advice or counsel.

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