Last year, California’s Governor signed Senate Bill (SB) 553, which requires most employers to establish, implement, and maintain an effective Workplace Violence Prevention Plan (WVPP). The law is enforceable on July 1, 2024. Cal/OSHA is responsible for enforcing the requirements of SB 553, now codified in California Labor Code Section 6401.9.

Recently, Cal/OSHA published a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page to assist with compliance.

The FAQ reviews the following:

  • Definitions under the statute
  • Employer applicability
  • Requirements for the WVPP
  • Violent Incident Logs
  • Training
  • Recordkeeping
  • Effective date

While many questions remain, employers should take note of Cal/OSHA’s position on some issues in the FAQ:

  1. Employers need to provide initial training under their WVPP by July 1, 2024, when enforcement commences.
  2. Employers must ensure their written WVPP “is specific to the hazards and corrective measures for each work area and operation” and not a top-down “corporate plan.”
  3. Animal attacks and other “acts of violence or threat of violence” are included in the definition of workplace violence under the legislation.

If you have questions about compliance with SB 553 or related issues, contact a Jackson Lewis attorney to discuss.

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Photo of Sierra Vierra Sierra Vierra

Sierra Vierra is an associate in the Sacramento, California, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She represents management in civil litigation and administrative proceedings involving employment law matters, including discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, benefits, and a wide range of wage and hour issues.

Sierra Vierra is an associate in the Sacramento, California, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She represents management in civil litigation and administrative proceedings involving employment law matters, including discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, benefits, and a wide range of wage and hour issues. She litigates in federal and state courts, including class and representative actions, and represents employers in administrative proceedings. She also provides preventive advice and counsel on best practices.

Prior to joining Jackson Lewis, Sierra clerked for the Honorable Joe B. Brown and the Honorable John S. Bryant, United States Magistrate Judges for the Middle District of Tennessee.

While in law school, Sierra received the highest grade in 12 courses. Sierra also served as an associate editor of the University of Illinois Law Review and as the editor-in-chief and administrative law columnist for the Illinois Law Update section of the Illinois Bar Journal. She also worked as a research assistant and teaching assistant and represented clients in connection with the University of Illinois Civil Litigation Clinic.

Before entering law school, Sierra worked as a paralegal at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division Office of General Counsel, where she supported civilian personnel litigation, government procurement, environmental compliance, intellectual property, Freedom of Information Act compliance, and government ethics teams.