New Obligations for HR Pros and Some Supervisors for Mandated Child Abuse Reporting

California’s Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Law has long required that “mandated reporters” make formal reports of suspected child abuse to law enforcement authorities. The list of mandated reporters is extensive and, unsurprisingly, includes such professions as teachers, coaches, emergency responders, and therapists.

Among other things, employers of these professions are obligated to provide candidates seeking employment written notice informing them that their position is designated as a mandated reporter, explain their specific reporting obligations, and inform them of their confidentiality rights. Effective January 1, 2021, certain human resources and supervisory employees join the ranks of mandated sexual abuse reporters.

Assembly Bill 1963 impacts California employers who have 5 or more employees, and also employ minors. The new bill mandates that any “human resources employee” who is designated by their employer to accept complaints of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, etc., made under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), along with any adult whose duties require direct contact with and supervision of minors in the workplace, be added to the mandated reporters list.

Employers who are subject to this new legislation are required to provide their “mandated reporter” employees with training in the duties imposed under the law. This training must include training in both the identification and reporting of child abuse and neglect and the training requirement may currently be met by completing the general online training (estimated completion time is four hours) for mandated reporters offered by the Office of Child Abuse Prevention in the State Department of Social Services. Holden Law Group will be happy to develop live interactive mandated reporter training at our clients’ request.