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Everything You Need To Know About California’s New Workplace Violence Prevention Plan

To help ensure employee safety, California’s Legislature passed a workplace violence prevention law last year. That law comes into effect on July 1, 2024, and applies to essentially all industries and employers within California. There are several intricacies within the new law, for which legal help is indispensable.

What Is the New Law?

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), workplace violence is the second leading cause of deadly occupational injuries in America. Therefore, new Labor Code section 6401.9 mandates that employers with 10 or more employees must establish a specific strategy to prevent and address any workplace violence to protect their employees while at work.  

This Workplace Violence Protection Plan (WVPP) must be a detailed strategy, written and customized to your specific business.

What Are You Required to Do?

       1. Rigorously Train Employees

Employers are also required to provide training on the plan, address specific hazards posed by every one of their work areas and offer the solutions to those hazards. The plan must also be reviewed at least once a year, as well as after a new deficiency is noted or an incident takes place.

All employees are entitled to a copy of the employer’s plan and are expected to be involved with the plan’s implementation. They must also be trained in how to report incidents, be familiarized with what the employers have done to address and correct workplace hazards and be offered opportunities for interactive discussion.
 
Any time a new hazard is identified or changes are made to the WVPP, employers must provide additional training.
 

       2. Log All Incidents 

Every incidence of violence must also be logged into one of four prescribed categories. Employers are required to note where and when the incident occurs, classify who committed the violence, describe the incident itself and its resultant consequences for all parties involved.  

If the incident results in an injury to an employee, employers must log it twice—once in the WVPP log and again in the OSHA 300 log.
 
       3. Keep Detailed Records 
 
The new law requires fastidious and detailed record keeping. In addition to the above violent incident logs, you will be required to record every time a workplace hazard is identified, evaluated and corrected. You will also need to record all workplace violent incident investigations.
 
All these records must be maintained for five years. Training records must also be maintained for one year.
 
With the compliance deadline on July 1st, employers need to be ready to have completed such training for all employees, be ready to keep records, and implement procedures by July 1st.

Are There Any Penalties for Failure?

The California Department of Industrial Relations Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) is overseeing the enforcement of this law. The usual procedures for inspection, citation, and penalties will be enforced.

“Serious” violations may bear penalties as high as $25,000 while “willful” violations may result in penalties of over $150,000.

Violating employers will be required to make immediate changes to Cal/OSHA’s satisfaction and even change policies and procedures.

Where Can You Start? 

If you are a healthcare facility, law enforcement agent, employer of teleworkers or fewer than 10 employees, this new law likely doesn’t apply to you.

But if not, you are required by law to take action by July 1, 2024. You could use Cal/OSHA’s model, fillable template to develop a WVPP on your own. It is a useful resource that outlines every single requirement.

Alternatively, you can enlist expert legal representation.

With the Law Office of Parag L. Amin, you can be certain of complete adherence to this new law and the resultant peace of mind. It is vital to do all you can to prevent any hurt to your company’s reputation, and even more importantly, your employees.

Our AgileAffect methodology was crafted around the understanding that every business is unique, and a one-size-fits-all approach is ineffective. We will work closely with you to develop a WVPP that creates an environment of safety and security, which will satisfy Cal/OSHA requirements while inspiring productivity and employee satisfaction.

Adhering to this new law requires a nuanced, comprehensive and innovative approach. For a clear understanding of the law, robust training procedures, efficient record keeping and logging practices and swift responses to workplace violence incidents, schedule a consultation call with us at help@lawpla.com today!

Disclaimer:

Please note that this is for informational purposes only, and reading this information does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. If you have any questions about upcoming legal changes in California or if you need legal support for your business contact us to discuss representation. Together, we can navigate the complexities of California’s employment law landscape and ensure your business thrives.

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PLEASE NOTE: This is not a representation, warranty, or guarantee of a future result or outcome. Every case is different just like every one of our clients.