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Expansion of New York Law Requiring Public Entities to Have Workplace Violence Prevention Strategies

We have long advocated prevention is the best solution to the growing concern that is workplace violence. We have also addressed the continuing problem that is school violence and discussed ways to help prevent acts of violence against teachers and students from occurring.

The New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) recently expanded its policy intended to mitigate the risk of workplace violence against certain public employees, § 27-b of that state's labor law, to now include certain previously exempted organizations.

Originally enacted in 2009, the law was extended effective May 3, 2024 to include public school districts, New York City public schools, Boards of Cooperative Education Services and County Vocational Education and Extension Boards.

Entitled "Duty of public employers to develop and implement programs to prevent workplace violence

Labor," § 27-b, the stated purpose of the law is to "ensure that the risk of workplace assaults and homicides is evaluated by affected public employers and their employees and that such employers

design and implement workplace violence protection programs to prevent and minimize the hazard of workplace violence to public employees."

Pursuant to Section 27-b, covered employers are required to:

  1. Perform a risk evaluation of the workplace and determine the factors that place employees at risk from occupational assaults and homicide.

  2. Provide employees with information and training on the risks of occupational assaults and homicides in their workplace or workplaces at the time of their initial assignment and annually thereafter.

  3. Establish and implement a system for employees to report incidents of workplace violence.

  4. Develop and maintain a Workplace Violence Incident Report and review the report annually.

Furthermore, those public employers with twenty or more full-time employees must develop and implement a written Workplace Violence Prevention Program.

In addition, the law requires that a written policy statement describing the goals and objectives of the Program must be posted where employee notices are usually posted. The Program must be made available, upon request, to employees, the employees’ designated representatives, and NYSDOL.



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