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California lawmakers pass workplace violence bill


The California legislature Tuesday gave final approval to a measure designed to better protect employees against workplace violence.

It was not immediately clear what action Gov. Newsom would take on the measure.

Senate Bill 553 would require employers in the state to develop internal workplace violence prevention plans as part of their injury prevention plans under the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health.

The proposal, which sponsors said was prompted by the 2021 fatal shooting of nine employees by a coworker at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority railyard in San Jose, would require employers to include in their violence prevention plans a log of all violent incidents against workers as well as details of post-incident investigations.

It would also require employers to explain to workers how to report workplace violence incidents without fear of retaliation, lay out procedures for responding to violent emergencies, and allow employee representatives to petition for temporary workplace violence restraining orders.

The bill would also accelerate the creation of a Workplace Violence General Industry Draft, which Cal/OSHA has been working on for six years.

Bill sponsor Sen. Dave Cortese said in a statement that the measure represented a “lengthy negotiation and collaboration between business and labor organizations.”