As the July 1, 2024 deadline for implementing a Workplace Violence Prevention Plan (WVPP) is quickly approaching, California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (“Cal/OSHA”) has now published a Model Workplace Violence Prevention Plan to assist employers in establishing their own plan in compliance with these requirements.

This Model plan is not required to be used by employers; however, this template covers all of the elements that are expected to be included in a compliant Plan and the use of Cal-OSHA’s template should help to mitigate any risk of non-compliance. The Model WPVV can be found here.

Cal/OSHA also issued fact sheets for employers and employees for both general operations in non-health care settings and for agricultural operations. The fact sheets can be found here.

The WVPP can either be incorporated into the employer’s existing Injury and Illness Prevention Plan (IIPP) or it can be a standalone document. Workplace Violence Prevention Plans must be in writing and easily accessible by employees.

Who is Covered by the WVPP?

Essentially all employers in the State are covered, with a few limited exceptions which include:

  • Employers already covered by Cal/OSHA’s Violence Prevention in Health Care standard
  • Employees who telework from a location of their choosing that’s outside the control of the employer
  • Locations that are not open to the public, where fewer than 10 employees work at a given time
  • Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and law enforcement agencies.

What does the WVPP require?

In summary, the WVPP must include all of the following:

1)  The name(s) or job title(s) of the person(s) responsible for implementing the WVPP;

2)  Effective procedures to obtain the active involvement of employees and authorized employee representatives in developing and implementing the WVPP;

3)  Methods the employer will use to coordinate implementation of the WVPP with other employers, when applicable, to ensure that those employers and employees understand their respective roles;

4)  Effective procedures for the employer to accept and respond to reports of workplace violence, and to prohibit retaliation against an employee who makes such a report;

5)  Effective procedures to ensure that supervisory and non-supervisory employees comply with the WVPP;

6)  Effective procedures to communicate with employees regarding workplace violence matters, including, but not limited to:

    • How an employee can report a violent incident, threat, or other workplace violence concern to the employer or law enforcement without fear of reprisal; and
    • How employee concerns will be investigated, and how employees will be informed of the results of the investigation and any corrective actions to be taken.

7)  Effective procedures to respond to actual or potential workplace violence emergencies;

8)  Procedures to develop and implement required training regarding workplace violence and the WVPP;

9)  Procedures to identify and evaluate workplace violence hazards, as well as procedures to correct any hazards identified;

10)  Procedures to respond to incidents and investigation;

11)  Procedures to review the effectiveness of and revise the WVPP, as needed; and

12)  Procedures or other information required by CalOSHA and the Occupational Safety and Health Standards board as being necessary and appropriate to protect the health and safety of employees.

In addition, the WVPP must identify the individuals responsible for implementing the Plan, and the following procedures for:

  • Involving employees in the development and implementation of the Plan;
  • Coordinating implementation of the Plan and training with other employers such as staffing agencies;
  • Accepting and responding to reports of workplace violence, and prohibiting retaliation against reporting employees;
  • Ensuring employees comply with the Plan;
  • Communicating with employees about: (1) how to report violent incidents, threats, or workplace violence concerns to employer or law enforcement and (2) how concerns will be investigated, and results communicated;
  • Responding to actual and potential workplace violence emergencies;
  • Identifying and evaluating workplace violence hazards;
  • Post incident response and investigation;
  • Reviewing Plan effectiveness annually, when deficiency is apparent, or after a workplace violence incident.

Training Requirements

Employers must provide employees with initial training when the Plan is first established and continue to conduct annual trainings thereafter. Training needs to cover the following topics:

  • The employer’s Plan and how employees can obtain a free copy of the Plan
  • How to report workplace violence hazards and workplace violence incidents
  • Corrective measures the employer has implemented
  • How to seek assistance to prevent or respond to violence
  • Strategies to avoid physical harm
  • Information about the violent incident log and how employees can obtain a copy

Additional training is required when new or previously unrecognized workplace violence hazards are identified, or when there are changes to the Plan.

Recording and Reporting Requirements

  • Employers must retain training records for at least 1 year
  • Employers are also required to record every workplace violence incident in a violent incident log including:
  • Date, time, and location of the incident
  • Detailed description of the incident
  • Classification of who committed the violence
  • The violence type including whether it was a physical attack or threat, whether weapons or other objects were involved, or whether it was a sexual assault
  • Consequences of the incident including whether security or law enforcement was contacted and whether actions were taken to protect employees from a continuing threat

Employers must retain for 5 years:

  • The incident log but omit personal identifying information;
  • The workplace violence hazard identification, evaluation, and correction records;
  • Records of workplace violence incident investigations (which may not include medical information).

Employers should review the Model Plan and create their own Plan and prepare the training materials for the July 1st deadline.

This Newsletter is intended as a brief summary of employment law. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained herein, it is not intended to serve as “legal advice,” or to establish an attorney-client relationship. If additional information is needed on any of the topics contained herein, please contact our office. All rights reserved. ©2024.

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