Courses / Getting Real About Workplace Violence - California

Getting Real About Workplace Violence - California

Comply with California Senate Bill 553 and empower your employees to understand, recognize, and respond quickly and effectively to all forms of workplace violence, including extreme violence.


35 minutes (Employee) 40 minutes (Manager)  

Pre-measurement + Course

Employee and Manager Versions   English and Spanish

Training Topics

Workplace Violence Awareness and Prevention Workplace Compliance Training

CA SB 553Extreme Violence ResponseActive Assailant Response


Engaging Training on Tough Topics

Contact us for a full course demo.

Meet California's SB 553 mandate with engaging and effective training.

On September 30, 2023, Senate Bill (SB) 553 was signed into law, which requires nearly every California employer to implement a comprehensive workplace violence prevention plan with very specific requirements.
By July 1, 2024, employers are required to:
1. Create a comprehensive Workplace Violence Prevention Plan (WVPP) for their organization.
2. Train employees and managers on workplace violence prevention and response, and on their WVPP.

Atana's Getting Real About Workplace Violence - California course and resources can help you meet the mandate with an approach that raises awareness of concerning behaviors and builds skills on how to bring concerns forward when necessary. It covers extreme violence situations in a way that makes people mindful, not fearful, and meets the following SB 553 requirements:

Training Topics Covered in  
Getting Real About Workplace Violence – California 


  • How to take action when faced with concerning behaviors. 
  • How to respond to an extreme act of violence. 
  • Strategies to avoid physical harm. 
  • The statute’s definition of workplace violence and an explanation of the four types of workplace violence: 
    • Type 1: Criminal intent 
    • Type 2: Customer/client 
    • Type 3: Employee 
    • Type 4: Personal relationship 
  • Information about the Violent Incident Log. 
  • Expansion of Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) parameters.

Organization-specific Training Topics:
(Employer responsibility -- see Resources below)


  • The employer’s specific Workplace Violence Prevention Plan. 
  • How employees can participate in the development and implementation of the Plan. 
  • How employees can obtain a free copy of the Plan. 
  • How employees can obtain a copy of the Violent Incident Log. 
  • Workplace violence hazards specific to the employees’ jobs. 
  • How to report workplace hazards, incidents, and concerns. 
  • How to get help from the employer's security team or law enforcement. 
  • Corrective measures the employer has implemented. 
  • Identification of new hazards or changes to the Plan. 

Learning Goals

The training enables your employees and managers to:

  • Identify changes in behavior that indicate a potential for violence.
  • Recall two questions that help them recognize early signs of potential violence. 
  • Recognize the link between domestic violence and workplace violence.
  • Know what to do if someone’s conduct is alarming or they notice a concerning pattern of small changes in someone.
  • Share with a manager or HR any abusive conduct or concerning behaviors they’ve observed or experienced.
  • Understand and quickly apply the Get Out, Get Safe or Get Tough™ strategies in the face of extreme violence.
  • Describe the four types of workplace violence: Criminal Intent, Customer/Client, Employee, and Personal Relationship.
  • Understand that verbal abuse and harassment are also acts of workplace violence.
  • Explain the purpose of a Violent Incident Log.
  • Describe the contents and purpose of an organization’s Workplace Violence Prevention Plan.
  • Understand the guidelines for employers and collective bargaining reps petitioning for a Temporary Restraining Order.

Measure Success with Atana Insights

  • A 5-minute pre-measurement module establishes a baseline of attitudes on and awareness of workplace violence issues.
  • Atana aggregates your learners’ responses to questions in the course related to desired workplace actions (such as sharing concerns about abusive conduct in the workplace with a manager or HR and acting immediately in the face of extreme violence to Get Out, Get Safe, or Get Tough.). All data is anonymized.
  • Using the gathered data, Atana Insights creates a benchmark of strengths and weaknesses within your organization’s culture and compares your results to national averages.
  • Your organization receives actionable next steps that are proven to drive real, measurable, and positive change at scale. 

Course Details

The course is divided into three sections.

    • Identifying and Resolving Concerning Behaviors

      Enables learners to: 

      • Recognize and identify potential threats in the workplace.
      • Apply strategies to identify risks and share concerns with others.

      Training time:  20 minutes

    • Taking Action During an Act of Extreme Violence

      Enables learners to: 

      • Understand the three strategies for surviving an act of extreme violence: Get Out, Get Safe, or Get Tough™.
      • Take immediate and decisive action to protect themselves and others in the event of a crisis.

      Training time:  10 minutes

    • California Senate Bill 553

      Enables learners to: 

      • Understand the requirements of California’s workplace violence prevention legislation and what to expect in their organization .

      Training time:  5 minutes

    Modules are not sold separately.


    Manager Course

    Because of the critical role managers play in workplace violence prevention, the Getting Real About Workplace Violence Manager Course builds on the General course by providing advanced instruction on:

    • The Three Stages of a Progression of Violence.
    • The manager’s role in fostering a safe work environment.
    • How to encourage the reporting of potential issues.
    • Checking in regularly with team members.
    • Having a plan when concerning behavior is witnessed.

    Easy-to-Deploy eLearning

    ASIS WVPI AA-2020 Compliant

    In-Course Questions Backed by Science

    Dashboard for Tracking Positive Results

    Vetted by a Top U.S. Law Firm

    “strongly aligns with our core values as a company”

    The training is something we feel strongly aligns with our core values as a company. We wanted to be able to share those ideas with our employees in ways that are in line with the diversity & inclusion course.
    Angela Leavell, Director eLearning and Development, Hard Rock International

    “high-quality content with the ability to capture and hold people's attention"

    I found products that were engaging and got the learning points across. Their training products combine high-quality content with the ability to capture and hold people's attention.
    Rob Highfill, Director of Customer Solutions, Frontline Insurance

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    We’ve been using Atana almost 4 years now. Other training providers usually just check the box. But Atana is always engaging, bringing humor and entertainment to even historically dry topics.
    Renee Frisk-Jones, Senior Manager - Enterprise Learning Experience & Solutions, Harbor Freight

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    Tracking impact and ROI for our L&D and HR initiatives is historically difficult. Atana enables us to identify what impact these courses have on our people and our business.
    Renee Frisk-Jones, Senior Manager - Enterprise Learning Experience & Solutions, Harbor Freight

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    Frequently Asked Questions about SB 553 

    • When does the law go into effect?

      By July 1, 2024, the law requires California employers to:

      1. Create a comprehensive Workplace Violence Prevention Plan
      2. Train their employees and managers

      Effective January 1, 2025, the law also:

      • Expands the CA Code of Civil Procedure, Section 527.8
        • In addition to employers, the law now allows collective bargaining representatives to petition for a workplace violence Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) on behalf of an employee who has suffered unlawful violence or a credible threat of violence that could reasonably be construed to be carried out, or has been carried out, at the workplace.
        • In addition to unlawful violence or a credible threat of violence, the law now allows employers and collective bargaining representatives to petition for a workplace violence TRO on behalf of an employee who has suffered harassment in the workplace (i.e., conduct that seriously alarms, annoys, or harasses the person and serves no legitimate purpose).
      • This expanded legislation and legal clarity:
        • Ensures more workers have access to protective measures against workplace violence.
        • Enhances employee representation since collective bargaining representatives may have a closer relationship with the workforce and may be more aware of specific threats or instances of violence
        • Increases the potential responsiveness to threats
        • Protects employees by providing another venue for action against workplace violence.
        • Potentially streamlines the process making it more timely and efficient in protecting employees.
    • Who is impacted by the mandate?

      The law applies to all employers, employees, places of employment, and employer-provided housing. However, the law exempts:

      1. Healthcare facilities and employers covered by California's existing workplace prevention standard for the healthcare industry
      2. Facilities operated by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
      3. Certain law enforcement agencies
      4. Remote workers (employees who telework from a location of their choosing that’s outside the control of the employer)
      5. Worksites with fewer than 10 employees present “at any given time” if:
        • It is not accessible to the public, and
        • The employer complies with the injury and illness prevention Cal/OSHA regulation.
    • What about organizations with multiple worksites?

      Organizations with multiple worksites may have some worksites which are required to comply and some worksites which are exempt.
      Example 1: Company A has two offices and a warehouse in CA that comply with the Cal/OSHA regulation and are not open to the public. The first office has 5 employees; the second office has 12; and the warehouse has 25 employees, only 8 to 9 of whom work together at any given time, over three different shifts. In this example, only the second office would be mandated by SB 553.
      Example 2: Company B employs 8 people in a retail store. In this example, the employer must comply with SB 553 because it is open to the public.

    • What about companies headquartered outside of California?

      SB 553 applies to employees within California, including those whose employers are headquartered outside the state. Workers who work outside California are not impacted.

    • What about hybrid workers?

      A company with hybrid workers must still follow the mandate, unless the schedule is such that there are never 10 or more employees at any given time at the worksite (for example, if their hybrid schedules are staggered) and the other exemption criteria are met (the worksite is not accessible to the public and the employer complies with the Cal/OSHA injury and illness prevention plan regulation).

    • What needs to be included in the Workplace Violence Prevention Plan?

      The Plan must outline procedures for:

      • Bringing forward workplace violence concerns.
      • Responding to concerns employees have brought forward.
      • Communicating with employees about:
        • How to bring concerns forward and/or violent incidents to management and law enforcement
        • How concerns will be investigated and how results, including any corrective actions taken, will be shared
      • Responding to actual and potential workplace violence emergencies.
      • Obtaining the active involvement of employees in developing and implementing the plan.
      • Identifying and evaluating workplace violence hazards (including behaviors of concern, behaviors that are alarming, direct or implied threats, or other potentially escalating behaviors of concern).
      • Correcting workplace violence hazards.
      • Posting incident responses and investigations.

      The plan must also:

      • Include a clear policy prohibiting retaliation against an employee who brings a concern forward.
      • Include a Violent Incident Log for recording incidents.
      • Identify the names or job titles of the people responsible for implementing the Plan.
      • Coordinate implementation with other employers (e.g., staffing agencies).
      • Ensure employees comply with the procedures outlined in the Plan.
      • Define procedures for reviewing the Plan’s efficacy.
    • How often does the Plan need to be updated?

      The Plan needs to be reviewed at least annually to assess effectiveness; when a deficiency is identified; and following any workplace violence incident.

    • Does each work location need a dedicated plan or can an organization use a corporate plan for all sites?

      SB 553 explains that the Plan must be specific to the hazards and corrective measures for each worksite. If there are different risks and/or hazards at different locations, then a company’s workplace violence prevention plan would need to be tailored to include and address the needs of those unique locations. If the company has consistent and similar hazards and risks across all its worksites, then the plan can be more uniform across a larger footprint.

    • How often do employees need to be trained?

      Employers must provide employees with initial training when the Plan is first established and then:

      • At least annually
      • When new or previously unrecognized workplace violence hazards are identified
      • When there are changes to the Plan
    • How can employers make the Plan accessible to employees?

      Many employers post their required safety plans on a company intranet or software platform. Employers can also make their Workplace Violence Prevention Plans available in binders on the worksite or post them on bulletin boards in common areas.

    • Can the Plan be part of an Injury and Illness Prevention Plan (IIPP)?

      Yes. The Plan can be a stand-alone section within an organization’s existing IIPP, or it can be a separate document. Also, some organizations include their Workplace Violence Prevention, Response, and Intervention Plan as an addendum to its Business Continuity Plan.

    • What is a Violent Incident Log?

      A Violent Incident Log is the form an employer uses to record concerns brought forward as well as incidents that occur. It details, date, type and description of the violence, a classification of who committed the violence (for example, co-worker, friend, customer), where the incident occurred, and consequences. However, it doesn’t include any personal identifying information of anyone involved in a violent incident. Employees can request to view and copy the Log and employers must provide access within 15 days of the request.

    • Does Atana have samples of a WVPP and Violent Incident Log?

      Yes, we have included resources in the Launch Guide that you can use as you develop your Plan. Links are also provided in the Resources for Employers section of this page.

      We advise that your legal department review your Workplace Violence Prevention Plan and Violent Incident Log to ensure complete compliance.

    • Does Getting Real About Workplace Violence meet the training requirements of SB 553?

      Getting Real About Workplace Violence – CA has been developed to include the general topics required in SB 553. Employers have additional training obligations (see details above).

      Additionally, the eLearning course meets the general employee training requirements outlined in the Workplace Violence and Active Assailant—Prevention, Intervention, and Response American National Standard (ASIS WVPI AA-2020). Legal teams often reference ASIS WVPI AA-2020 as the training standard during litigation when addressing whether someone was trained in workplace violence prevention.

    • Getting Real About Workplace Violence – California is divided into three main sections. What are they?

      The main sections are:

      1. Identifying behaviors of concern
        • Types of workplace violence
        • Domestic violence
        • Creating a positive and respectful workplace
      2. Taking action during an act of extreme violence
        • Get out, Get safe, Get tough
        • Creating a plan
      3. CA-specific topics
    • If I already trained my employees with Getting Real About Workplace Violence in the past year, do I meet the CA mandate?

      No. There is a new version specifically for California that includes the topics outlined in the table above.

    • Will there be an extra fee for upgrading to Getting Real About Workplace Violence – California?

      If you already purchased Getting Real About Workplace Violence and are in your contract period, there is no additional fee.

    Please Note: This page is designed to help you understand CA SB 553. It is not intended as legal advice, nor does it contain every detail or requirement of the mandate. It’s provided solely for informational purposes. If you have additional questions about the law, its requirements, or implications for your organization, you should consult legal counsel.