July 1, 2024 Deadline – Ensuring Workplace Safety: Understanding California’s Workplace Violence Prevention Requirements

By:  Leiann Laiks, Esq.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), workplace violence ranks as the second leading cause of fatal workplace injuries in the United States, impacting nearly 2 million American workers annually. In California, SB 553 mandates all employers (except for some exceptions) to establish, implement, and maintain a comprehensive Workplace Violence Prevention Plan (WVPP) by July 1, 2024.

Strategy Law, a San Jose Business Law firm, explains the key requirements of this new law and how it can help ensure employee safety in your workplace.

Key Requirements:


Introduction of Senate Bill 553 (SB 553)

As of July 1, 2024, California employers are mandated to establish, implement, and maintain a comprehensive Workplace Violence Prevention Plan (WVPP) as part of their safety initiatives. This requirement extends to all industries, with specific exceptions for certain employers and teleworking arrangements.

Components of the WVPP: 

Ensure your WVPP is in writing and easily accessible to all employees. Key elements include identifying responsible individuals, establishing procedures for reporting and responding to incidents, and conducting regular reviews and updates.

Employee Training: 

SB 553 also emphasizes the importance of providing effective training tailored to employees’ educational backgrounds, literacy levels, and languages spoken. Initial training should coincide with the establishment of the WVPP, followed by annual refreshers. Training topics cover various aspects, including accessing the prevention plan, reporting incidents, understanding job-specific hazards, seeking assistance, and interactive sessions for clarification.

Continuous Improvement: 

Employers must remain vigilant in identifying and addressing new or previously unrecognized workplace violence hazards. Additionally, maintaining thorough training records is crucial along with documenting session details and attendee information, for at least one year.

Recording and Reporting Incidents:

Employers are required to maintain detailed violent incident logs, documenting essential information while safeguarding individuals’ privacy. These logs must be retained for five years and made available to Cal/OSHA upon request. Employees have the right to view and copy the logs within 15 calendar days of a request.

Leiann Laiks is an employment attorney in San Francisco. Strategy Law, LLP, is a San Jose Business Law firm specializing in California Workplace Safety Compliance. We can help you develop and implement a comprehensive WVPP that meets all the requirements of SB 553. Contact us today for a consultation.


This blog is written as of April 2024.  Recommendations and legal requirements are changing rapidly, so please continue to review our legal updates or review postings on relevant government websites

All blogs on this site are for educational purposes only, do not constitute legal advice or opinion, and should not be applied to your situation, or any specific situation, without consultation with counsel. Strategy Law, LLP does not provide any legal advice concerning any matter discussed in a blog except upon formal engagement including, without limitation, execution of Strategy Law, LLP’s formal legal services agreement, and with respect to specific factual situations.  No blog constitutes a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the result of any legal matter discussed in the blog or any representation.