Workplace Violence Prevention: Cal/OSHA Issues its Model WVPP Form and Guidance
Posted March 28, 2024

Effective July 1, 2024, almost all California employers must establish, implement and maintain an "effective workplace violence prevention plan" (WVPP). For the full text of Senate Bill 553, click here. Cal/OSHA has now issued a Model WVPP and provided additional guidance on this important topic.


As anticipated, Cal/OSHA has now issued a model WVPP form to assist employers in creating their WVPP. For a copy of the model WVPP, click here.

Employers are not required to use this model WVPP and may create their own version instead. Employers opting to use Cal/OSHA’s model WVPP must enter their own worksite-specific information into the model WVPP to modify it to fit their operations and to ensure compliance with California Labor Code section 6401.9. The WVPP can be incorporated into the employer's IIPP, or maintained as a separate document.


Cal/OSHA has issued helpful fact sheets for general industry and agricultural employers and workers. These fact sheets can be found here.


Who is covered under S.B. 553?

The legislation covers virtually all employers with at least one or more employees, places of employment, and employer-provided housing and employees.

Is any employer exempted?

Yes. The following five employer categories are exempt:

  1. Health care facilities (“HCFs”), service categories and operations (HCFs already have their own healthcare workplace violence regulations and plan requirements);
  2. Facilities operated by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation;
  3. Certain law enforcement agencies;
  4. Employees teleworking from a location of the employee’s choice, which is not under the control of the employer; and
  5. Places of employment where there are less than 10 employees working at the place at any given time and that are not accessible to the public.

Cal/OSHA can overrule these exemptions, but it would need to issue a special compliance order.

What do I have to do?

Covered employers must establish, implement and maintain an effective written WVPP. Employers must engage with employees and authorized employee representatives when developing and implementing their WVPP. The WVPP must be in writing and “available and easily accessible to employees, authorized employee representatives and representatives of the division [Cal/OSHA] at all times.” Employers also must maintain a violent incident log, train employees on the WVPP and conduct regular effectiveness reviews of the WVPP.

When do I have to have my WVPP ready?

No later than July 1, 2024.

Once created, do I need to update it?

Yes. It must be reviewed annually. It also must be revised if a deficiency is observed or becomes apparent, after a workplace violence incident, or as needed.

Do I have to provide training?

Yes. You must provide employees with initial training when the plan is first established. Coverage topics include:

  • The employer’s plan, how to obtain a copy of the employer’s plan at no cost, and how to participate in development and implementation of the employer’s plan
  • The definitions and requirements as spelled out in Labor Code Section 6401.9
  • How to report workplace violence incidents or concerns to the employer or law enforcement without fear of reprisal
  • Workplace violence hazards specific to the employees’ jobs
  • The corrective measures the employer has implemented
  • How to seek assistance to prevent or respond to violence
  • Strategies to avoid physical harm

Additional training on the WVPP must be provided when “… a new or previously unrecognized workplace violence hazard has been identified and when changes are made to the plan. The additional training may be limited to addressing the new workplace violence hazard or changes to the plan.”

What kind of records are required?

For each workplace violence incident that occurs, employers must record information about the incident in a violent incident log. The log information, among other things, must include, “The date, time, and location of the incident, the workplace violence type or types … involved in the incident” and “A detailed description of the event that includes …information solicited from the employees who experienced the workplace violence, on witness statements, and on investigation findings.” Be certain to “omit any element of personal identifying information sufficient to allow identification of any person involved in a violent incident.”

How long should I keep WVPP-related documents?

It depends on the type of document: five years for: “records of workplace violence hazard identification, evaluation, and correction”; violent incident logs; and records of workplace violence incident investigations; and one year for training records (include training dates, contents or a summary of the training sessions, names and qualifications of persons conducting the training, and names and job titles of all persons attending the training sessions).

What can I expect next?

Cal/OSHA may issue FAQs on S.B. 553’s requirements before the July 1, 2024 deadline. By December 1, 2025, Cal/OSHA must propose standards for the WVPP, and by December 31, 2026, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board must adopt such standards.

Because WVPP guidance continues to evolve, covered employers are encouraged to consult with competent OSHA counsel and workplace safety professionals to ensure full compliance with S.B. 553 by the July 1, 2024 deadline.

For questions about employment law issues, contact the attorneys at LightGabler.

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