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Workplace violence is an issue that impacts employees and employers alike. While OSHA uses the General Duty Clause to address such issues, some states are enacting their own laws about it. As we reported a few weeks ago, Texas recently enacted a new law to protect healthcare employees from violence in the workplace. The Texas Legislature also implemented Chapter 104A, “Reporting Workplace Violence,” to the Texas Labor Code. The law became effective on September 1, 2023, and applies to all Texas employers.

Chapter 104A requires Texas employers of all sizes to post a notice with the contact information for reporting instances of workplace violence or suspicious activity to the Department of Public Safety. The notice must be posted in:

  • A conspicuous place in the employer’s place of business;
  • Locations sufficiently convenient to all employees; and
  • English and Spanish, as appropriate.

On March 1, 2024, the Texas Workforce Commission issued a form of the required notice.

Other States That Have Similar Laws

California has a new law requiring all employers with at least 10 employees in the state to adopt a workplace violence prevention plan (see S.B. 553). The new legislation requires employers to have a plan, to involve employees in drafting the plan, and to conduct training when the plan is rolled out, then annually after that. In addition, employers must keep a log of all violent incidents, which includes specifics about the incident, the type of violence, consequences of the incident, and the name of the person recording the log. Employers must retain logs and training records for five years. Plans must be in place by July 1, 2024.

Next Steps

If you have employees in Texas, post your notices. If you have remote or hybrid staff, make the notice electronically accessible. You could distribute it via email, incorporate it in a digital rendition of the employee handbook, or share it via the intranet or an internal virtual bulletin board (or all of those things). This ensures that the poster remains easily accessible and available to all employees, regardless of their work arrangement.

If you are a healthcare employer in Texas, get your workplace violation prevention plan in place and make sure you follow the requirements for the law that goes into effect on September 1, 2024.

Considering the increased attention from the Texas Legislature on preventing workplace violence, Texas employers should implement workplace violence plans and policies or contemplate the review and enhancement of current policies and procedures related to workplace violence to ensure that they corroborate with the recent laws. If you don’t have employees in Texas, check your state laws. If no laws apply to you yet, don’t forget the OSHA General Duty Clause. You will want your employees to know what to do if violence erupts in your workplace.

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Photo of Whitney J. Jackson Whitney J. Jackson

Whitney Jackson’s practice focuses on commercial litigation, employment, and intellectual property matters.

Whitney earned her J.D. (cum laude) from the University of Mississippi School of Law, where she served as associate articles editor of the Mississippi Law Journal, senator of…

Whitney Jackson’s practice focuses on commercial litigation, employment, and intellectual property matters.

Whitney earned her J.D. (cum laude) from the University of Mississippi School of Law, where she served as associate articles editor of the Mississippi Law Journal, senator of the Student Bar Association, and vice president of the Black Law Students Association. While in law school, Whitney interned with the legal departments of Fortune 500 companies, where she assisted senior management in researching and analyzing various legal compliance matters. Whitney also interned with the University of Mississippi’s Office of Technology Commercialization, where she assisted potential patent-applicants in prior-art searches and patent development. She earned her Bachelor of Science (magna cum laude) degree in Biochemistry from Alcorn State University.

Photo of Jennifer M. Trulock Jennifer M. Trulock

Jennifer Trulock advises companies on managing workplace legal issues, conducting investigations into employee misconduct, and preventing employment lawsuits. She also is experienced in handling acquisition/divestiture employment issues, including due diligence, pre-merger planning and post-merger integration issues. Jennifer counsels employers on developing and applying…

Jennifer Trulock advises companies on managing workplace legal issues, conducting investigations into employee misconduct, and preventing employment lawsuits. She also is experienced in handling acquisition/divestiture employment issues, including due diligence, pre-merger planning and post-merger integration issues. Jennifer counsels employers on developing and applying personnel policies and in responding to and resolving complaints before reaching litigation. She also assists clients in negotiating employment agreements, as well as separation agreements.

Photo of Anne R. Yuengert Anne R. Yuengert

Anne Yuengert works with clients to manage their employees, including conducting workplace investigations of harassment or theft, training employees and supervisors, consulting on reductions in force and severance agreements, drafting employment agreements (including enforceable noncompetes) and handbooks, assessing reasonable accommodations for disabilities, and…

Anne Yuengert works with clients to manage their employees, including conducting workplace investigations of harassment or theft, training employees and supervisors, consulting on reductions in force and severance agreements, drafting employment agreements (including enforceable noncompetes) and handbooks, assessing reasonable accommodations for disabilities, and working through issues surrounding FMLA and USERRA leave. When preventive measures are not enough, she handles EEOC charges, OFCCP and DOL complaints and investigations, and has handled cases before arbitrators, administrative law judges and federal and state court judges. She has tried more than 30 cases to verdict.