Take Action Now! Oppose SB553

California Senate Bill 553 will place a one-size-fits-all workplace violence regulation on all businesses, regardless of size. Workplace violence is an important topic – but it must be addressed correctly. If the legislature is inclined to cut off the work of Cal/OSHA’s experts and their regulatory process, then the least that the legislature can do is utilize their expertise and their proposed language. Instead, SB 553 short-circuits Cal/OSHA’s work and ignores Cal/OSHA’s preferred draft workplace violence standard by all employers like well-resourced hospitals.  The Roseville Area Chamber of Commerce is in strong opposition to this bill for the following reasons:  

  • SB 553 ignores Cal/OSHA’s work and would write the Healthcare WV Standard into the Labor Code for all employers. This standard was written for hospitals, NOT with the majority of California’s businesses in mind and is not feasible across all industries. Cal/OSHA began drafting a general industry workplace violence regulation because their experts recognized that hospitals are not the same as most employers in California. Hospitals simply are not the average employer in California – which is why Cal/OSHA chose not to apply the hospital standard to all employers.

  • SB 553 will not actually prevent any workplace violence, so there is no urgency to supersede Cal/OSHA’s ongoing work. Substantively, SB 553 does not change the realities around workplace violence – namely, that it is a criminal matter that employers are not well-equipped to prevent. An active shooter entering a workplace – while tragic – is not something most businesses (or public entities) are ever going to be equipped to handle. This legislation will not summon armed guards to every retail establishment in the state, or improve police response times, or prevent oral threats from being spoken.

  • SB 553’s compliance obligations apply to all employers in the state - and are significant. SB 553 will require training, recordkeeping, annual reviews, and hiring of additional full-time staff to “prevent and respond to workplace violence events during each shift.” These costs are incredibly significant and will not be feasible for small businesses, and even in larger businesses with tighter margins. Cal/OSHA knew they were not feasible – and that is why Cal/OSHA is working on a form of workplace violence regulation that will work in all workplaces. And SB 553, sadly, ignored Cal/OSHA’s work on this feasible standard.

  • Despite Cal/OSHA’s disagreement, SB 553 would impose its higher-than-hospital standards on every public and private employer in California. What are the consequences of that imposition for California’s employers? California employers will face significant fines for failing these infeasible requirements. Under Cal/OSHA’s penalty structure, for serious violations, these fines are initially $18,000 per violation, and may rise as high as $25,000.

Ask your legislator to OPPOSE SB 553 (Cortese) as amended July 10, 2023, because it applies a regulation specifically written for hospitals to all employers in the state – regardless of size and resources – and ignores years of work by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) experts on a new regulation that was intended to be applied across industries. SB 553 would short-circuit an ongoing regulatory process for unclear reasons and require even the smallest public and private employers to meet infeasible standards that were never intended for most industries.

Contact Your Legislator Today!

Contact your legislators.

Contact Your Legislator Today!

Thank you for taking action.

Thank you for taking time to respond to our action alert. Please contact us at [email protected] if you have any questions.


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