Apr 24, 2024


Compliance Update: California Labor Code 6401.9 Workplace Violence Prevention

Compliance Updates

California’s Senate Bill No. 553 implemented a new rule for the state’s employers to address the prevention and response to workplace violence. As of September 30, 2023, Section 6401.9 was added to the California Labor Code relating to occupational safety, which requires employers to train all employees on workplace violence, among fulfilling other associated legal obligations. Section 6401.7 was also amended in relation to occupational safety. While the new rule doesn’t apply to all healthcare providers in the state, home care providers are directly affected. The deadline for employers to comply with the ruling and its required training is July 1, 2024.

Employers may choose to rely on curriculum providers for the swift, efficient adoption of the necessary training. CareAcademy will be offering training that complies with specific requirements of California Labor Code Section 6401.9. Additionally, employers are able to use the platform’s Course Creation Tool to host their organization-specific training, as is required, to create a centralized training resource on workplace violence for their employees.

California’s New Ruling – Just the Facts

CareAcademy’s compliance team has waded through the new rule, California SB-553 Occupational Safety: workplace violence: restraining orders and workplace violence prevention plan, and distilled it into more easily understood key points:

  • Who’s affected? California employers and employees, including those in healthcare not covered by Title 8
  • Where does the rule apply? Home Care – specifically all employers, employees, places of employment and employer-provided housing except those places of employment covered by Title 8
  • What is the new rule? A mandate to address workplace violence
  • Why has it been implemented? To ensure virtually all California employers address the specific threat of workplace violence, aligning with the California Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1973
  • What does the rule mandate?
    • Employers must create a workplace violence prevention plan
    • Employers must create and maintain a violent incident log that contains records of workplace violence for a minimum of five years
    • Employers must provide training on multiple aspects of workplace violence, their prevention plan and how to report incidents of violence
  • When are employers expected to provide the training?
    • On or before the expressed deadline of July 1, 2024
    • Annually thereafter
    • Upon hire of new employees
    • Upon official changing of employee job assignment
    • When new substances, processes, procedures, or equipment are introduced to the workplace that create a potential new hazard
    • When a new or existing instance of workplace violence is reported
  • How can the training be administered? The required regulation doesn’t specify a method or duration for the training, but it does specify certain topics that must be covered, including several employer-specific policies and procedures
  • What topics must be covered? Refer to Labor Code Section 6401.9 (e) paragraphs (2) and (3), these are provided further below

What Employers Need to Know

Regulatory compliance is part and parcel to an employer’s role as a business owner. Beyond awareness and having a clear understanding of California’s new Workplace Violence Prevention Compliance Law, employers have the responsibility of developing a workplace violence prevention plan, providing training and related material to their employees, as well as creating a record system to document workplace incidents and related training.

Here are the employer-related elements of the workplace violence rule as outlined in the newly added California Labor Code Section 6401.9:

(e) (1) The employer shall provide effective training to employees, as specified in paragraphs (2) and (3). Training material appropriate in content and vocabulary to the educational level, literacy, and language of employees shall be used.
(2) The employer shall provide employees with initial training when the plan is first established, and annually thereafter, on all of the following:
(A) 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.
(B) The definitions and requirements of this section.
(C) How to report workplace violence incidents or concerns to the employer or law enforcement without fear of reprisal.
(D) 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.
(E) The violent incident log required by subdivision (d) and how to obtain copies of records required by paragraphs (1) to (3), inclusive, of subdivision (f).
(F) An opportunity for interactive questions and answers with a person knowledgeable about the employer’s plan.
(3) Additional training shall 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.
(f) (1) Records of workplace violence hazard identification, evaluation, and correction shall be created and maintained for a minimum of five years.
(2) Training records shall be created and maintained for a minimum of one year and 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.

Accessible, Comprehensible Training With CareAcademy 

According to Section 6401.9 of the Labor Code, the provided training material is to be easily understood by the employer’s staff. When considering available options, employers should especially factor their employees’ education level, cultural backgrounds and preferred language.  CareAcademy’s recent launch of a fully-immersive Spanish learning experience empowers Spanish-speaking caregivers and allows senior care businesses to expand care to Spanish-speaking clients.

Furthermore, employers can be reassured in the quality of CareAcademy’s education materials. CareAcademy’s Content and Quality team applies evidence-based learning principles to break training modules into bite-sized chunks for enhanced comprehension. In addition to this tactic, the team is guided by its C.A.R.E.S. framework. This concept explicitly serves as the compass for all of the learning solutions they develop. These guiding principles account for the many hats worn by the caregiver, while also satisfying the caregiver’s curiosity, competency requirements, compliance needs and career goals.

Development is underway by CareAcademy’s team to create the courses applicable to California’s new Workplace Violence Prevention Compliance Law. Once available, they will be shared on CareAcademy’s full class list so all California customers and interested organizations can access these required courses, along with other essential trainings.

Best-in-Class Compliant Training

CareAcademy is a true partner, providing compliant solutions in the spirit of smoother operational performance, while simultaneously enabling a safer working environment for care teams. Combining carefully-curated content and innovative technology with regulatory subject matter experts yields sustainable training programs for providers. Hence, providers and clients enjoy better quality care and improved satisfaction levels.

View additional state-specific training requirements for California and other states on CareAcademy’s training page. Let’s create a safer, more mindful healthcare system in California and beyond.

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