Anticipated CA Labor Laws for 2024, Part 3: SB 553 & SB 700

An employer going over a policy with a mediator to ensure it complies with SB 553 and SB 700.In the third installment of my Anticipated CA Labor Laws for 2024 series, we will explore two historic laws California Governor Gavin Newsom ratified earlier this year that will impact employees and employers alike. The two new laws, Senate Bills (SB) 553 and SB 700, will take effect in 2024. 

Whether you’re an employee or employer, staying current with legislative changes is imperative. Without providing legal advice, my goal is to provide you insights from my perspective as a neutral mediator, on the most hotly anticipated employment law changes in the new year. Learn more about the predicted impacts of SB 553 and SB 700, and be sure to tune in for the conclusion of our series, Part 4: SB 669 & AB 1076: Employers Imposing Non-Competes.

If you haven’t read my first and second installments in this series, visit SB 616 & SB 848 Increase Paid Sick Leave & Reproductive Loss Leave and AB 1228 & SB 525 Increase Fast Food & Healthcare Pay for a better understanding of the legislation that will take effect in the new year and shape the future of employment law. So, without further ado, let’s get into it.

SB 553: Workplace Violence Protections

On September 30, 2023, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 553 into law, requiring all California employers to implement a comprehensive workplace violence prevention plan with specific requirements. Generally, your plan must include:

  • The names or job titles of the individuals responsible for implementing and maintaining the workplace violence prevention plan.
  • Procedures to obtain the active involvement of employees in developing, implementing, and reviewing the workplace violence prevention plan.
  • Procedures to identify, evaluate, and correct workplace violence hazards, designing and implementing training, and reporting and investigating workplace violence incidents. 
  • Methods the employer will use to coordinate the implementation of said plan among employees in the same facility or department. 
  • Procedures for obtaining assistance from the appropriate law enforcement agency during all work shifts, including a written policy prohibiting the employer from disallowing or taking punitive or retaliatory action against an employee for seeking assistance or intervention from law enforcement or emergency services.
  • Procedures for the employer to respond to workplace violence and to prohibit retaliation against employees who make reports of workplace violence.
  • Procedures for ensuring compliance with the workplace violence prevention plan.
  • Procedures for communicating with employees regarding workplace violence matters.
  • Procedures for developing and providing training on the employer’s workplace violence prevention plan. 
  • Procedures for communicating with employees regarding workplace violence matters. 
  • Procedures for developing and providing training on the employer’s workplace violence prevention plan.
  • Assessment procedures to identify and evaluate risk factors for workplace violence.
  • Procedures for correcting workplace violence hazards promptly.
  • Procedures for post-incident response and investigation.
  • Maintaining policies prohibiting the employer from requiring employees to confront active shooters or suspected shoplifters. 

Employers must only report “serious” injuries or fatalities as required by Title 8 CCR sections 330(H) and 342. Additionally, employers must “record information in a violent incident log about every incident, post-incident, response, and workplace violation injury investigation.” This log must include certain information, such as:

  • The date, time, and location of the incident.
  • A detailed description of said incident.
  • A classification of who committed the violence. 
  • A classification of the circumstances of the incident, like whether the employee was performing their standard job duties.
  • A classification of the location.
  • The type of incident (whether it involved physical, verbal, sexual, or animal attacks.)
  • The consequences of the incident, like medical treatment needed and whether security or law enforcement were involved.
  • Contact information for the individual completing the incident log. 

SB 553 exempts health facilities and worksites with fewer than 10 employees and instances. If a worksite has less than 10 employees present “at any given time,” is inaccessible “to the public,” and the employer adheres to the injury and illness prevention Cal/OSHA regulation, the worksite could be exempt from SB 553

Your workplace violence plan can be included in your illness prevention program (IIPP), or it can be a stand-alone plan. If different hazards exist at different locations, you need a tailored plan for each one. 

SB 553 also exempts situations where employees are teleworking from a location they chose and that their employer does not control. This law also requires initial and annual training regarding the new plan. 

By January 1st, 2024, California employers must develop and implement a written workplace violence prevention plan, and it is imperative to seek legal counsel ASAP to devise a plan that complies with these requirements. 

SB 700: Banning Workplace Discrimination Regarding Off-Duty Marijuana Use

On October 7, 2023, Newsom signed SB 700 into law, which expands California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) to protect applicants from discrimination based on prior cannabis with some exceptions. This amendment will take effect on January 1st. 

The California FEHA prohibits different forms of workplace discrimination, and SB 700 expands that protection to include making it unlawful for employers to request information from an applicant for employment regarding their prior use of cannabis.

SB 700 also prohibits employers from using information they obtain from a criminal history relating to an applicant’s or employee’s prior cannabis use unless the employer is allowed to consider or inquire about that information under California’s Fair Chance Act or other state or federal laws.  

Moreover, this law exempts employers in the building and construction industry and employers with applicants and employees in positions that require a federal background investigation or clearance. 

Should employees or employers have questions regarding these new laws or want more information as to how the laws may apply to them, I recommend they consult with experienced employment law counsel.  

Stay Tuned for Part 4: SB 699 & AB 1076 Regarding Employers Imposing Non-Competes

In the fourth and final installment of the Anticipated CA Labor Laws for 2024 blog series, I will discuss SB 699 and AB 1076. 

SB 699 voids contracts that limit lawful business and stops employers from mandating non-competes. AB 1076 establishes imposing non-competes unlawful and requires notification of agreements from California businesses by February 2024.

Mediation & Conflict Resolution

Whether you are an employee or employer, and/or legal counsel representing employees or employers, if you need help mediating or resolving conflicts regarding new workplace violence protection laws or off-duty cannabis use law matters, working with a trusted mediator and objective third party like myself can benefit everyone involved. Mediation and alternative dispute resolution is nearly always the best choice to avoid the draining, expensive, and time-consuming process and receive the best guarantee of closure. 

Experienced Employment & Title IX Mediator & ADR Professional

Twice-named a U.S. News Best Lawyer in America for employment and labor law, I am an employment, labor law & Title IX mediator and alternative dispute resolution professional.

Known as the “Workplace Guru,” I am an influencer and leading authority on employment, workplace/HR, Title IX, hazing, and bullying issues. Furthermore, I’ve been named a “Top 50 Woman Attorney” in California by Super Lawyers, a “Top California Employment Lawyer” by the Daily Journal, and one of Los Angeles’ “Most Influential Minority and Women Attorneys” by the Los Angeles Business Journal.

I am a regular legal and media commentator and analyst and have appeared on such media outlets as Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight, Law and Crime with Brian Ross, Court TV, CNN, NewsNation, ABC News, CBS News, Fox 11 News, KTLA-5, the Black News Channel, Fox Soul – The Black Report, NPR, KPCC, Airtalk-89.3, KJLH Front Page with Dominique DiPrima, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the LA Times,, Yahoo! Entertainment, People Magazine, Essence Magazine, the Los Angeles Sentinel, LA Focus, Daily Journal, Our Weekly and the Wave Newspapers.

I am a member of the panel of distinguished mediators and arbitrators with Signature Resolution, a California dispute resolution company. I also own her dispute resolution law firm, the Reddock Law Group of Los Angeles, specializing in the mediation and resolution of employment discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and other workplace claims, along with Title IX, sexual harassment, assault, and misconduct conduct cases, as well as hazing and bullying cases in K-12 schools, colleges, and universities, fraternities, and sororities; fire, police and other public safety agencies and departments.

Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram @iamangelareddockwright, LinkedIn at, and tune in to my weekly radio show, KBLA Talk 1580’s Legal Lens with Angela Reddock-Wright each Saturday and Sunday at 11 am PST, or catch past episodes on You can learn more about the radio show here –




Also, learn more about my book – The Workplace Transformed: 7 Crucial Lessons from the Global Pandemic – here –

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For more information regarding resources mediation and dispute resolution resources for both employees and employers, connect with Angela on LinkedIn for new updates or contact her here. You may also follow her on Instagram.

This communication is not legal advice. It is educational only. For legal advice, consult with an experienced employment law attorney in your state or city.

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