New Legislation Concerning Violence in the Workplace

To address the rise of violence in the workplace, the New York State legislature has passed a bill that would impose strict safety measures on retail employers to protect their retail employees.

If  Governor Hochul signs the bill, most of its provisions will go into effect 180 days later and will apply to any person or entity that employs at least 10 retail employees at a retail store. 

The new law would impose the following requirements:

Written Workplace Violence Prevention Policy

Covered employers must provide employees with a workplace violence prevention policy.  The bill directs the New York State Department of Labor (DOL) to produce a model policy in English and other languages for employers to use.

The policy should include factors that might place retail employees at risk of workplace violence;  methods that employees may use to prevent incidents of workplace violence, including reporting systems; information regarding federal and state statutes concerning violence against retail workers and available remedies; and a statement prohibiting retaliation against employees who complain about workplace violence or the presence of factors that could lead to workplace violence, or who testify in any proceedings about workplace violence.

Information and Training

Covered employers must provide workplace violence prevention training to employees upon hire and on an annual basis.  The bill directs the New York State Department of Labor (DOL) to produce a model training program.

Notice of Policy

Covered employers must provide employees with a written notice containing the employer’s retail workplace violence prevention policy and the information presented at the employer’s violence prevention training program when they are hired and at every annual workplace violence prevention training. The notice must be in English and the employee’s primary language if the DOL has provided a model policy in that language.

Panic Buttons

Employers of 500 or more retail employees nationwide must provide access to panic buttons throughout their workplaces. Employers can either provide physical or phone-based panic buttons. Unlike the other provisions, this one would not go into effect until January 1, 2027. 

If you have any questions or concerns about New York’s labor and employment laws, please contact Chaim Book at, Sheryl Galler at, or Nadav