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Employer Requirements under California Labor Code Section 6401.9

“Engineering Controls” means an aspect of the built space or a device that removes a hazard from the workplace or creates a barrier between the worker and the hazard.

“Work Practice Controls” means procedures and rules which are used to effectively reduce workplace violence hazards.

Workplace Violence Prevention Plan

In California, all employers must create, implement and keep updated a written workplace violence prevention plan. The plan must be in effect and easily accessible to employees and authorized employee representatives at all times. It must be specific to the hazards and corrective measures for the workplace and for each work area and operation.

The plan must include:

  • Names or job titles of the persons responsible for implementing the plan.
  • Procedures to involve employees in developing and implementing the plan, such as participation in identifying, evaluating, and correcting workplace violence hazards, in designing and implementing training, and in reporting and investigating workplace violence incidents.
  • Methods the employer will use to coordinate implementation of the plan with other employers. These methods should ensure that all employees receive the required training and that workplace violence incidents involving any employee are reported, investigated, and recorded.
  • 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.
  • Effective procedures to ensure that supervisory and nonsupervisory employees comply with the plan.
  • Procedures to communicate with employees regarding workplace violence matters, including:
    • How an employee can report a violent incident, threat, or other workplace violence concern to the employer or law enforcement without fear of reprisal.
    • How employee concerns will be investigated, how employees will be informed of the results of the investigation, and any corrective actions to be taken.
  • Procedures to respond to actual or potential workplace violence emergencies, including:
    • Effective means to alert employees of the presence, location, and nature of workplace violence emergencies.
    • Evacuation or sheltering plans that are appropriate and feasible for the worksite.
  • How to obtain help from staff assigned to respond to workplace violence emergencies, security personnel, and law enforcement.
  • Procedures to develop and provide required training.
  • Procedures to identify and evaluate workplace violence hazards, including scheduled periodic inspections to identify unsafe conditions and work practices and employee reports and concerns. Inspections must be conducted when the plan is first established, after each workplace violence incident, and whenever the employer is made aware of a new or previously unrecognized hazard.
  • Procedures to correct workplace violence hazards.
  • Procedures for post-incident response and investigation.
  • Procedures to review the effectiveness of the plan and revise the plan as needed, including, but not limited to, procedures to obtain the active involvement of employees and authorized employee representatives in reviewing the plan. All employers must review their plan at least annually, when a deficiency is observed or becomes apparent, and after a workplace violence incident.


Violent Incident Log 

In California, employers must keep a log of every workplace violence incident. Employers should base the information included in the log on information from employes who experienced the workplace violence, witness statements, and investigation findings. No personal identifying information should be included in the log.

The log should include:

  • The date, time, and location of the incident.
  • The workplace violence type or types involved in the incident.
  • A detailed description of the incident.
  • A classification of who committed the violence (e.g., client or customer, family or friend of a client or customer, stranger with criminal intent, coworker, supervisor or manager, partner or spouse, parent or relative)
  • A classification of circumstances at the time of the incident (e.g. whether the employee was completing usual job duties, working in poorly lit areas, rushed, working during a low staffing level, isolated or alone, unable to get help or assistance, working in a community setting, or working in an unfamiliar or new location.)
  • Where the incident occurred.
  • The type of incident, including whether it involved:
    • Physical attack without a weapon, including, but not limited to, biting, choking, grabbing, hair pulling, kicking, punching, slapping, pushing, pulling, scratching, or spitting.
    • Attack with a weapon or object, including, but not limited to, a firearm, knife, or other object.
    • Threat of physical force or threat of the use of a weapon or other object.
    • Sexual assault or threat, including, but not limited to, rape, attempted rape, physical display, or unwanted verbal or physical sexual contact.
    • Animal attack.
  • Consequences of the incident, such as:
    • Whether security or law enforcement was contacted and their response.
    • Actions taken to protect employees from a continuing threat or from any other hazards identified as a result of the incident.
  • Information about the person completing the log, including their name, job title, and the date completed.


Recordkeeping Requirements

  • Employers must maintain records of workplace violence hazard identification, evaluation, and correction for a minimum of five years.
  • Employers must maintain training records for a minimum of one year. The records must 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.
  • Employers must maintain violent incident logs for a minimum of five years.
  • Employers must maintain records of workplace violence incident investigations for a minimum of five years. These records should not contain medical information.
  • Records of workplace violence hazard identification, evaluation, and correction, training records, and violent incident logs must be made available to employees without cost within 15 calendar days of the employee’s request.


Training Requirements

Employers in California must provide employees with workplace violence prevention training the workplace violence prevention plan is first established and annually thereafter.

The training must 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 in California 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, and strategies to avoid physical harm.
  • The violent incident log and how to obtain copies of records.
  • An opportunity for interactive questions and answers with a person knowledgeable about the employer’s plan.
  • Additional training must be provided when a new workplace violence hazard is 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.

The information contained on this page is for informational purposes only.
It does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice.