DISCLAIMER: The following information is a summary of SB 553 and should not replace an individual or organization’s obligation to read the original bill in full.
On September 30, 2023, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Senate Bill (SB) 553, which requires virtually every California employer to take certain steps to prevent and respond to workplace violence. The new law adds Section 6401.9 to the Labor Code and goes into effect on July 1, 2024. Among other items, all employers will now be required to create and implement a workplace violence prevention plan and incident log as part of their injury and illness prevention programs.
What Does the New Law Require?
Covered employers must establish, implement and maintain an effective workplace violence prevention plan. Requirements for such a plan include:
Employers must also keep various records as specified in the new law, including:
These records must be maintained for at least five years and be produced to Cal/OSHA upon request. Requirements include retention of records for at least five years.
Who is exempted from SB553?
The new law contains a few limited exceptions. It does not apply to employers already covered by California’s existing workplace violence prevention standard for healthcare, employees teleworking from a location of their own choice that is not under the employer’s control, places of employment where there are fewer than 10 employees working at the place at any given time and that are not accessible to the public, and a few other small exceptions (mostly in the public sector). If you have any questions about whether your organization is exempted, please contact your employment counsel.
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