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On June 28, 2023, the California State Assembly Committee on Labor and Employment held a hearing on Senate Bill (SB) 553, which if passed as drafted, would establish workplace violence prevention standards applicable to virtually every employer in California.

Quick Hits

  • California State Assembly Committee on Labor and Employment held a hearing on Senate Bill (SB) 553.
  • If passed and signed, the new law would establish new workplace violence prevention standards in California.
  • The bill will now be sent to the Assembly Judiciary Committee for hearing.

State Senator Dave Cortese (D-15), the bill’s author, testified in support of the bill and noted in response to concerns about the bill’s applicability to virtually every California employer, that he planned to amend the bill to contain a limitation applicability threshold for employers—presumably meaning the law would apply to employers with a certain number of employees, but he did not state any further specifics. If so amended, this would be a significant change to the bill.

We attended the hearing in opposition to the bill, along with California Chamber of Commerce Policy Advocate Rob Moutrie, and one of us (Karen Tynan) testified at the hearing. A number of employer groups also joined in opposition, including, but not limited to, the California Restaurant Association, California Grocers Association, California Trucking Association, California State Beekeepers Association, and California Retailers Association.

The Assembly Committee on Labor and Employment passed the bill, and it will now be sent to the Assembly Judiciary Committee for hearing.

Ogletree Deakins will continue to monitor developments with respect to SB 553 and Cal/OSHA’s proposed workplace violence prevention regulations and will provide updates on the firm’s California and Workplace Safety and Health blogs as additional information becomes available.

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