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If you’ve got your ear to the ground in the world of employment legislation, you know that when California makes a move, the rest of the country tends to take notice. Well, hold onto your hats because California’s latest legislative powerhouse, SB 553, is shaking up the scene with a groundbreaking Workplace Violence Prevention initiative.

SB 553 is not just any run-of-the-mill legislation – it’s the first of its kind in the United States. This law sets out comprehensive safety requirements for all general industries across the Golden State. The Workplace Violence Prevention Act is not just a suggestion – it requires action from most businesses that do business in California. By July 1, 2024, every California employer (with a few exceptions we’ll touch on) must have their ducks in a row to comply.

Now, which companies does this apply to? Short answer is almost everyone. If you’re an employer in California with 10 or more employees (except for healthcare facilities, which have their own rules), you’re on the hook to comply. And it’s not just California-based companies feeling the heat. Even if your company’s headquarters are located elsewhere, if you have locations in California, you’re in the game too.

So, what are these requirements of California’s SB 553? Let’s break it down into three key points:

Requirements of California SB 553 Workplace Violence Prevention Act

There are three essential requirements California employers need to comply with by July 1, 2024.

  1. An employer shall establish, implement and maintain an effective workplace violence prevention plan
  2. The employer shall record information in a violent incident log for every workplace violence incident
  3. The employer shall provide effective training to employees – training must be completed by July 1, 2024

What this means, is that every employer needs to have a plan in place – and not just any plan, mind you, but an effective one. This means designating responsible folks, involving employees in the process, and setting up procedures for everything from reporting violence to post-incident responses.

But it’s not just enough to have a plan – you also need to make sure everyone knows the drill. Employers need to provide initial and annual training and keep meticulous records of incidents and training sessions for at least five years. Think of it as your workplace’s own little library of safety.

Challenges in complying with California SB 553

Now, let’s talk about the elephant in the room – the challenges. Meeting these requirements isn’t a walk in the park. Some key challenges in complying with the new Workplace Violence Prevention Act include:

  • Developing comprehensive plans: Crafting a plan that ticks all the boxes can feel like trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube blindfolded. It’s not just about jotting down some rules; it’s about active employee involvement, hazard identification and post-incident procedures. And for smaller outfits with fewer resources, getting this in place by the deadline presents an additional challenge.
  • Training compliance: Ensuring everyone gets the memo, especially in larger organizations with diverse teams and multiple locations, is no small feat. It’s like trying to herd cats – except these cats need to know how to prevent workplace violence.
  • Record-keeping burden: Keeping track of incidents and training records for five years sounds like a bureaucratic nightmare, especially if information is located scattered across internal file structures. Imagine trying to find that one document from three years ago in a sea of paperwork, buried in piles of folders. Yikes.

Strategies to comply with the Workplace Violence Prevention Act

But fear not, for where there are challenges, there are also solutions. If SB 553 applies to you, some strategies you’ll want to consider to be in compliance include:

  • Comprehensive plan development: Designate your workplace warriors, involve your troops and embrace technology like it’s your secret weapon. Streamline communication and documentation to make sure information and documentation is easily accessed.
  • Training compliance management: Don’t leave it to chance – automate, track and remind your workforce to complete the required training in time. With the right compliance training tools, ensuring everyone’s up to speed becomes a breeze.
  • Streamlined record-keeping: Say goodbye to filing cabinets and hello to digital solutions. Keep your records safe, accessible and error-free with the power of purpose-built policy and procedure management software.

Resources to comply with the California Workplace Violence Prevention Act

At NAVEX, we’re committed to sharing important resources to help you stay informed and compliant with regulations impacting your organization. If you’re working on your policy, check out the California Workplace Violence Prevention sample policy to get a head start. To dive deeper, download the regulatory brief on SB 553 policy creation for additional information.

Additionally, as training is a critical piece of complying with California’s SB 553, offering a complete course to your teams will help ensure compliance with the law and that your team is educated on what they need to know. You can preview the Workplace Violence and Abusive Conduct training course provided by NAVEX which is designed to not only comply with the law but also makes it simple to include information about your own plan as required.

So, there you have it – the essential information on complying with California’s latest game-changer. Meeting these requirements may present a challenge, sure, but with the right approach and a sprinkle of innovation, you can successfully tackle it head-on. After all, keeping our workplaces safe is a mission we can all get behind.

For more information on how to comply with California’s SB 553, you can also check out our playbook that covers more of the essentials and how NAVEX solutions can help make compliance a breeze.

Download the playbook