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Through CSEA’s political advocacy on behalf of CSEA’s school district members, the New York State Public Employer Workplace Violence Prevention Act was recently amended to include school districts, which were previously exempt.

I’m pleased to inform you that all school districts will be required to fully comply with this regulation by January 4, 2024. Districts are required to give authorized union representatives an opportunity to participate in the process to develop and assess workplace violence prevention planning. Your employer should be reaching out regarding this in the next few weeks.

As a union leader please do not pass up the opportunity to be involved in this process. CSEA’s Occupational Safety and Health Department will be providing resources and guidance to assist you but please feel free to contact your OSH Specialist if needed.

Mary E. Sullivan

CSEA President

NYS Public Employer Workplace Violence Prevention Regulations in Schools Frequently Asked Questions

NYS Public Employer Workplace Violence Prevention Regulations in Schools

Frequently Asked Questions

Aren’t school districts exempt from the regulations?

Not anymore! School districts and their cooperative extensions were exempt from the initial workplace violence law. However, the Governor signed an amendment to the law this October removing the exemption for school districts.

When will school districts be required to comply with the regulations?

School districts are required to meet all regulatory requirements of the New York State Public Employees Workplace Violence Prevention regulation by January 4th, 2024.


Who enforces this regulation?

The New York State Department of Labor Public Employees Safety and Health Bureau or PESH enforces this regulation. PESH enforces occupational safety and health standards for public employees in NYS while the United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration enforces those regulations for private sector workers. If there are private sector workers in your district these protections would be enforced by OSHA through the general duty clause.

Workplace Violence Prevention Information (PESH)

OSHA Workplace Violence Overview

What must school districts do according to the regulations?

All public employers MUST:

  • Develop a policy statement and provide for employee involvement.
  • Evaluate the risk for workplace violence with authorized employee representatives.
  • Institute a written workplace violence prevention plan.
  • Implement control measures.
  • Establish a reporting system.
  • Train all employees.
  • Review incident reports and evaluate program effectiveness.

CSEA’s Public Employer Workplace Violence Prevention Programs Executive Summary

Seven Steps to Comply with 800.6

What exactly is Workplace Violence and what does this regulation cover?

This regulation defines workplace violence as any physical assault or acts of aggressive behavior occurring where a public employee performs any work-related duty in the course of his or her employment. This includes:

  • Physical violence or attempts to inflict physical injury upon an employee.
  • Threats to commit physical violence.
  • Stalking an employee with the intent of causing fear of material harm.
  • It does not have to meet the legal definition of assault to be included in this regulation.


How is this different than Project SAVE?

Both SAVE and the NYS Workplace Violence Prevention Law protect individuals in schools, this regulation is geared specifically to and only focused on protecting workers. There may be some program overlap, however this is a separate regulation designed to protect workers from occupational hazards. This is enforced by the New York State PESH Bureau not the State Education Department.

What is considered the workplace?

The regulation broadly defines the workplace as anywhere an employee performs any work-related duties. This includes all school areas, garages, bus-stops, routes, field trips, school sports (home and away), and any other school-related functions. The definition does not include the employees’ homes.

What does employee involvement mean?

The regulation requires the opportunity for employee involvement in several areas. Employee involvement means participation of authorized employee representatives or AERs. AERs are authorized by the union in an official capacity. The most significant areas requiring employee involvement is the risk evaluation & determination and the annual program review.

Required areas of Employee Involvement

Workplace Violence Employee Involvement Fact Sheet

How many Authorized Employee Representatives (AERs) can I utilize?

The regulation is not clear as to the precise number of AERs allowed. However, experience has shown that PESH can at least enforce that at a minimum one AER from each union or labor organization is allowed to participate. To ensure that all member concerns are represented multiple AERs may be needed to cover specialty areas. Arguments can be made that multiple AERs are needed based on familiarity with the specific area of the workplace. It is important to establish a list of AERs to accommodate leave time or additional subject matter expertise when needed. The Local or Unit President has the sole right to select and modify the AER list.

What can be done if a school district isn’t complying with the regulations?

Any public employee may file a complaint with PESH or OSHA if they believe there is a hazard in the workplace that has not been properly controlled by their employer. Under certain circumstances, the workplace violence regulation requires advanced notification to the employer and a reasonable amount of time to correct the condition prior to filing a complaint with PESH. Before filing a PESH or OSHA complaint members are encouraged to consult their Occupational Safety and Health Specialist for more information and guidance.

Contact your OSH specialist

PESH Notice of Alleged Safety or Health Hazards

What can union leaders do to make sure school districts are complying with the regulations?

Do not pass up any opportunity to work with your school district to create an effective prevention program. Be an active participant in all program areas and utilize the CSEA resources you have available. Work with your OSH Specialist to file a PESH complaint if necessary.

Public Employer Workplace Violence Prevention To-Do List for Union Leaders

Will this regulation compel my district to hire more people?

No. PESH and OSHA do not regulate staffing levels. If PESH or OSHA observe a hazard they can compel an employer to fix it however the fix could be:

  • The elimination or substitution of the hazard if possible.
  • Engineering out the hazard by separating the employee from it.
  • Providing safe work practices and training.
  • Providing appropriate personal protective equipment.

Any violations and subsequent corrective actions levied can help support staffing discussions. Contact your Labor Relations Specialist for discussions related to staffing levels.