Do You Have a CA Workplace Violence Prevention Plan (WVPP) Ready for the July Deadline?

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California Labor Code Section 6401.90 will require eligible employers to enact new workplace violence prevention protocols by the deadline of July 1st, 2024.

Resulting from Senate Bill 553 (SB 553), signed into office in September 2023, this legislation represents a significant compliance hurdle for employers. Drafted initially to protect retail workers from theft-related violence, SB 553 will require extensive preparedness for physical threats in all types of workplaces.

A recent report from the CDC suggests that this regulation may be desperately needed. It found that in 2021, 57 working people died from violence in the workplace in California. Additionally, an average of 1.3 million nonfatal violent crimes occurred annually from 2015 to 2019 in the United States.

What’s due on the July 1st 2024 deadline?

Specifically, the bill calls for these major additions to workplace precautions:

1) A Workplace Violence Prevention Plan (WVPP) 

Some required training characteristics and features:

  • Must be in writing and easily accessible to employees.
  • Must include procedure for identifying, investigating, and responding to violent incidents.
  • A specific employee must be designated responsible for implementing the WVPP
  • Specific employee(s) must be designated to respond to a violent incident.

2) Violent incident record

Some required record characteristics and features:

  • Identifications, incident logs, and investigations of workplace violence must be stored and kept for at least five years
  • Records of WVPP trainings must be stored for one year minimum.

3) Employee training on workplace violence

Some required training characteristics and features:

  • Employers must hold trainings when the WVPP is first established and annually after that
  • Methods for correcting unsafe or unhealthy work conditions
  • A Procedure for post-incident response
  • A system to keep employees in compliance with safe and healthy work practices
  • A pathway for employees to communicate workplace violence incidents without negative consequence
  • A health and safety training program to instruct employees on best practices concerning their specific workplace hazards

What businesses does SB 553 apply to?

SB 553 likely applies to your company, but there are some limited exceptions to this bill to be aware of. All public and private employers with Californian employees must comply unless they have less than ten employees present at any given time and or are not readily accessible to the public.

Remote workers telecommuting from a location of their own choosing are also exempt from training, but not if they are subject to in-office days within California.

Healthcare facilities covered by Section 3342 of Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations are exempt from SB 553 and should refer to Section 3342’s guidelines instead.

Implications for your business

Cal/OSHA is developing a workplace violence prevention standard that it is required to adopt and enforce by December 31st, 2026. Not complying with the requirements of SB 553 could result in a range of fines. One incident could incur multiple penalties if not responded to per SB 553 stipulations.

New legislation is always an adjustment for the workplace. Employers are wise to draft an entirely new plan to accommodate all of the specifics of this bill, but they may not have to start from scratch. If your company already has a bearing on the precursors for SB 553, they are starting with a leg up.

For example, ASIS’s Workplace Violence and Active Assailant—Prevention, Intervention, and Response Standard (ASIS) is a go-to workplace violence reference. Employers with a strong foundation in ASIS protocols will find that much of the information is transferable to SB 553 requirements, but it will still need adjustments.

California Payroll is your HR ally

HR compliance can raise many questions, especially when new and complicated legislation like this arises. Find out how our HR resources can help you today and stay on top of your compliance game!

For more information on preparing your business for SB 553, see the Department of Industrial Relations’ (DIR) guide here.


What is the deadline for implementing a Workplace Violence Prevention Plan (WVPP) in California?

The deadline for implementing a WVPP in California is July 1st, 2024.

Who does SB 553 apply to in California?

SB 553 applies to all public and private employers with Californian employees, with some limited exceptions for small businesses with fewer than ten employees or those not readily accessible to the public.

What are the key components of a Workplace Violence Prevention Plan (WVPP) under SB 553?

Some key components of a WVPP include written procedures for identifying and responding to violent incidents, designated employees responsible for implementation, and annual employee training on workplace violence.

What are the implications of not complying with SB 553 requirements?

Non-compliance with SB 553 could result in fines and penalties, as well as potential risks to employee safety and well-being in the workplace.