Workplace Violence is a Serious Problem: California Has New Law to Help Protect Employees

In September of 2023, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 553 into law. A first-of-its-kind state law, the bill is designed to help protect employees from the threat of workplace violence. It requires employers to develop and implement workplace violence prevention plans. Here, our Fresno workers’ comp lawyer discusses the workplace violence risks that employees face and provides an overview of the California regulations that are set to take effect later this year.

Know the Data: Workplace Violence is a Serious Risk to Employee Safety

Every year, hundreds of thousands of workers in California need professional medical care for a job-related injury or an occupational disease. An alarming number of these injuries happen because of workplace violence. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), nearly 21,000 people were hurt in workplace violence incidents nationwide in 2021 alone. That violence may come from criminal assailants. customers, clients, co-workers, and even managers. 

Employers Must Develop Workplace Violence Prevention Plan (July 1st, 2024)

In a nationwide survey, researchers found that nearly two-thirds of employers lacked a comprehensive workplace violence prevention plan. For employers in California, that will no longer be the case going forward. Starting July 1, 2024, a new law in California mandates all employers to develop a comprehensive Workplace Violence Prevention Plan. It is groundbreaking legislation that aims to tackle the increasing and alarming incidents of workplace violence. Under the new law, employers are required to:

  • Identify potential hazards;
  • Establish prevention strategies; and
  • Create response protocols.

Notably, the plan must include employee training on violence awareness and reporting procedures. It is a proactive approach to workplace violence prevention that is designed to enhance worker safety, promote a culture of security, and reduce the risk of violent incidents in workplaces across the entire State of California.

Victims of Work Violence have the Right to File for Workers’ Comp Benefits

If you or your loved one was the victim of workplace violence in Fresno or elsewhere in the region, it is imperative that you know what to do next. To start, injured workers have the right to file a workerscompensation claim for a workplace violence-caused injury. Workers’ comp provides no-fault benefits. As long as the injury occurred within the course and scope of employment, an injured worker has the right to recover benefits.

Note: In some cases, injured workers may also have additional options for compensation. For example, if workplace violence happened because of the negligence of a third party, that negligent entity may be held liable through a third-party liability claim.

Contact Our Fresno Workplace Violence Injury Attorney Today

Joseph C. Yrulegui is a top-rated workerscompensation attorney. If you or your loved one suffered harm due to violence in the workplace, we are more than ready to help you get justice and compensation. Contact us today to arrange your strictly private, no-obligation case review. We represent victims of workplace violence in Fresno and throughout the surrounding area.