New Workplace Violence Prevention Law Set to Take Effect in California; Workers’ Compensation Insurance Has a Big Role

In July 2024, a new law is taking effect in California that will require all employers to develop and implement a workplace violence prevention plan. Workers’ compensation insurance companies will play a major part of regulating the new labor requirements. Within this article, our Fresno workers’ compensation defense lawyers highlight the key points to know about the new law and the role that workers’ compensation insurance companies will play.

Know the Law: Workplace Violence Prevention Program (July 1, 2024)

As described by the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), employers will be subject to the new requirements of California Labor Code § 6401.9 on July 1, 2024. The statute requires the vast majority of employers in our state to “establish, implement, and maintain an effective written Workplace Violence Prevention Plan.” Here are some of the main requirements that a Workplace Violence Prevention Plan must satisfy to be legally compliant in California:

  • Determine who is accountable for putting the plan into action;
  • Engage workers and their representatives in the process;
  • Receive, address and take serious reports of workplace violence;
  • Ensure no retaliatory actions are taken against employees who report;
  • Keep employees informed about issues related to workplace violence;
  • Handle both actual and potential emergency situations effectively;
  • Create/deliver a meaningful training program;
  • Proactively identify risks related to workplace violence; and
  • Conduct follow-up actions and investigations after incidents.

Note: California’s impending Workplace Violence Prevention Law applies to employers in non-healthcare settings. There are existing, comprehensive workplace violence prevention regulations in place for healthcare employers in our state. Healthcare employers should continue to follow the law.

Workers’ Compensation Insurers are the “De Facto” Regulators of the Law

The California Workplace Violence Prevention Plan requirement for non-healthcare employers will be effective on July 1, 2024. As of that date, employers in violation of the law can be fined and otherwise sanctioned. Notably, workers’ compensation insurers will play a big role in regulating the new requirements. Indeed, the Insurance Journal reports that workers’ compensation insurers are “de facto” regulators of the Workplace Violence Prevention Plan.

With specific targets in place to address workplace violence issues at higher-risk employers, workers’ compensation insurers are tasked with producing a detailed report within six months of a policy’s commencement. The report will assess employers’ preventive measures against workplace violence and injuries. Beyond that, insurers must evaluate the effectiveness of these plans—and, if warranted, recommend necessary changes. Both employers and workers’ compensation insurers should be prepared for the new regulatory environment that is set to take effect.

Speak to Our Fresno, CA Workers’ Compensation Defense Attorney

At Yrulegui & Roberts, our Fresno workers’ compensation defense lawyers provide aggressive, effective legal advocacy to a wide range of clients. If you have questions about compliance with California’s workplace violence law, we are here to help. Contact us today to arrange your confidential case review. Our firm handles workers’ compensation defense in Fresno and beyond.