In a recent article for the Daily Journal, Labor & Employment partner Kacey Riccomini and associate Aya Elalami shed light on the increasing concern of workplace violence and its impact on employers burdened by rising thefts and violence. The article, "Smash and grabs and other crimes mean more work for employers," was published on August 2, 2023.
With the surge in retail thefts, including alarming "flash robs" or "smash and grab" incidents involving large groups, the safety of employees has become a critical issue. While the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) currently requires employers to provide a safe working environment, specific guidelines for addressing workplace violence have been lacking. However, the General Duty Clause Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 places the responsibility on employers to ensure a workplace free from recognized hazards that may cause death or serious physical harm.
To address the gap in guidance, the California Senate recently passed a bill (SB 553) aimed at imposing greater obligations on employers in managing workplace violence. If enacted, SB 553 would require several provisions, including maintaining a Violent Incident Log, providing active shooter training for non-healthcare employers, and offering shoplifter training for retail employers.
The proposed legislation emphasizes the importance of establishing comprehensive workplace violence prevention programs, conducting training, and implementing effective reporting mechanisms. Employers are urged to work with their counsel to develop and implement safety plans and policies to mitigate potential liability.
Although we would like to hear from you, we cannot represent you until we know that doing so will not create a conflict of interest. Also, we cannot treat unsolicited information as confidential. Accordingly, please do not send us any information about any matter that may involve you until you receive a written statement from us that we represent you (an ‘engagement letter’).
By clicking the ‘ACCEPT’ button, you agree that we may review any information you transmit to us. You recognize that our review of your information, even if you submitted it in a good faith effort to retain us, and, further, even if you consider it confidential, does not preclude us from representing another client directly adverse to you, even in a matter where that information could and will be used against you. Please click the ‘ACCEPT’ button if you understand and accept the foregoing statement and wish to proceed.