workplace violence prevention law
workplace violence prevention law

California employers must start complying with the state’s new workplace violence prevention law by July 1.

With that deadline less than a month away, employers that are yet to adopt and implement workplace violence prevention plans that satisfy the requirements of California Labor Code, need to prepare immediately.

Virtually all employers in the state are required to comply with the new law. The exceptions are:

    • Employers covered by existing workplace violence prevention requirements under California law, like health care facilities and correctional and detention locales.
    • Certain public agency employers.
    • Employees who telework permanently.
    • 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.


What constitutes an effective plan

Under the law, an effective workplace violence prevention plan:

  • Identifies who is responsible for implementing the plan.
  • Involves employees and their representatives in its creation.
  • Includes details for how to accept and respond to reports of workplace violence.
  • Prohibits retaliation against employees who report incidents of workplace violence.
  • Includes details for communicating with employees regarding workplace violence matters, including: how to report a violent incident, threat or other workplace violence concern; effective means to alert employees to the presence of a workplace violence emergency; and how to obtain help from staff assigned to respond and/or law enforcement.
  • Lays out instructions for responding to actual and potential emergencies.
  • Includes procedures for post-incident response and investigation.
  • Requires the employer to develop and provide effective training. Employees must be provided with initial training, and then an annual refresher.
  • Requires the employer to identify, evaluate and correct workplace violence hazards.
  • Requires the employer to post incident response and investigations.


Cal/OSHA has published a model prevention plan for general industry on its website, which you can find here. The plan is just a model and employers will have to personalize it for their specific workplace.



You are required to train your workers on workplace violence prevention and provide training materials that must be easy to understand. Training must include:

  • Familiarizing employees with the plan and how to participate in developing and implementing it.
  • Definitions and requirements of California Labor Code Section 6401.9.
  • Information on how to report workplace violence incidents without fear of retaliation.
  • Job-specific violence hazards and preventive measures.
  • Explaining the purpose of the violent incident log and how to obtain related records.
  • The opportunity for employees to ask questions and get more information on your plan.



You are required to keep records of:

  • Workplace violence hazard identification, evaluations and any corrections made (must be maintained for at least five years).
  • Training (kept for one year).
  • Violent incidents (kept for at least five years).
  • Workplace violence incident investigations (kept for at least five years).
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