What are California Employers Required to Include in Their Workplace Violence Prevention Plan?

June 17, 2024

Effective July 1, 2024, California employers in general industries are expected to create, implement, and manage a Workplace Violence Prevention Plan (Plan). General industries would include all industries besides healthcare. The law will also exempt certain industries and employers (see next paragraph below). The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health will enforce this new law that requires employers to maintain an incident log, provide training on workplace violence, and perform reviews of their Plan.


An employer that is not accessible to the public and who has fewer than ten employees is exempt from the regulation, so long as they have an acceptable Injury and Illness Prevention Program in place. The phrase “not accessible to the public” has yet to be defined by the California legislature. A reasonable interpretation would be an employer who requires key cards for employees to enter the facilities, security badges to access elevators within the building, or has a security guard or a locked entrance gate posted in front of the building. A facility is not accessible to the public if the employer has some security measure in place that prevents the public from entering the structure. In addition, health care facilities already regulated by California’s Violence Prevention in Health Care law will also be exempt from the new regulation.

The Plan

The employer will be expected to establish, implement, and maintain an effective Plan in writing. It is advised the Plan to be readily available and easily accessible to employees. This can mean updating employee handbooks to reflect a revised workplace violence prevention Plan, including the Plan as a stand-alone section in the employers Injury and Illness Prevention Program, or maintaining the Plan in a separate document entirely. The Plan can be accessible through a company server or website that employees regularly use, so long as access to the Plan is not obstructed.

Several elements should be included in the Plan, such as the name of the individual responsible for implementing the Plan, how employees can report a violent incident, and how to identify and correct workplace violence in a timely manner.

The Incident Log

Employers will also be expected to maintain an incident log that records information pertaining to a prior violent occurrence in the workplace. Information may be supplied by an employee who witnessed the incident or from an investigation of the incident. Identifying information of those involved in the incident, such as names and addresses, needs to be omitted from the log. The information in the log should include the date, time, and location of the incident, a description of what occurred, and whether the violence was committed by an employee, customer, stranger, or supervisor. These logs are required to be maintained for a minimum of five years.

Effective Training

When the Plan is first established, employers will need to provide employees with initial training. Annual training must be provided thereafter. Employees are expected to be trained in how to obtain a copy of the Plan, how to report violent incidents, and how to employ strategies to avoid physical harm. If any changes are made to the Plan, additional training will be required. Training records are expected to be maintained for at least one year.

Reviewing the Plan

Procedures on how to review the effectiveness of the Plan and how to revise it must also be included. The Plan will be reviewed every year, after an incident has occurred, or when a deficiency in the Plan is uncovered.


California employers are expected to have their Plans ready by July 1, 2024, and extra time to comply with Bill No. 553 will not be granted. California employers are encouraged to take proactive steps in developing a comprehensive Plan to address workplace violence. Attorneys at Halpern & Scrom can assist employers in strategizing an effective Plan and providing the necessary training mandated by the law.





Image by storyset on Freepik

Send us a message

You can contact us via email or telephone, or by using the form below.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Search Articles

Halpern & Scrom Law Newsletter

Please enter your email address below to sign up for our topical e-newsletter:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.