Human Resources Employees and Supervisors of Minors Are Now “Mandated Reporters” Under California Law
California’s Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act requires that certain “mandated reporters” report whenever they, in their professional capacity or within the scope of their employment, have knowledge of or observe a child whom they know or reasonably suspect has been the victim of child abuse or neglect. Failure to report known or reasonably suspected child abuse or neglect is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in a county jail, a $1,000 fine, or both.
The list of mandated reporters (found at Cal. Penal Code § 11165.7) is lengthy, and includes, for example, teachers, social workers, firefighters, physicians, athletic coaches, coroners, and clergy members.
AB 1963 adds two new categories of mandated reporters effective January 1, 2021:
- A “human resource employee” of any business with five or more employees that employs minors. The bill defines “human resource employee” as the employee (or employees) designated by the employer to accept complaints of misconduct under the Fair Employment and Housing Act.
- “An adult person whose duties require direct contact with and supervision of minors in the performance of the minors’ duties in the workplace” of a business with five or more employees.
Employers with employees subject to either of these new mandated reporting requirements must provide those employees who are now mandated reporters with training on their duties. This training must include training in child abuse and neglect identification and training in child abuse and neglect reporting. This training requirement can be met by completing the general online training for mandated reporters offered by the Office of Child Abuse Prevention in the State Department of Social Services.