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5 Reasons Why Mandated Reporter Training is Crucial for HR Staff

Employers, Training
by Mandated Reporter Training | July 28, 2021

Your human resources team plays a vital role in your organization. Among other things, they field complaints of misconduct, keeping your employees safe and ensuring your business complies with state and federal employment laws.

Because of their essential role, it's crucial that you ensure these professionals have all the tools and knowledge they need to effectively fulfill their duty. If an HR employee mishandles a complaint of harassment or abuse, the consequences can be devastating.

Learn how investing in mandated reporter training for human resources can help keep your organization safe.

5 Reasons Why You Need Provide Mandated Reporter Training for Your Human Resources Team

#1: It May Be Required by Law
In the state of California, mandated reporter training for HR isn't just a wise investment, it's required by law. California Assembly Bill 1963 went into effect on January 1st, 2021, making select human resources employees and front-line supervisors mandated reporters of child abuse and neglect.

This same bill also requires that employers provide mandated reporter training to appropriate staff members. Your employer-provided mandated reporter training should include information on how to identify and report instances of child abuse or neglect.

#2 Sexual Harassment of a Minor is Taken Seriously
Sexual harassment can become child abuse if a minor is involved. According to the author of Assembly Bill (AB) 1963, "When the employee is a minor, the same conduct that violates an employer's sexual harassment policies may also be child abuse." AB 1963 was intended to ensure that "when a report of sexual harassment in the workplace is brought forward by a minor or on behalf of a minor, the complaint will be made to a trained mandated reporter so that all of their rights under law will be protected."

Because of this, even in states other than California that may not specifically designate supervisors or human resources employees as reporters, mandated reporter training can be helpful for supervisors.

#3: Your Company May Be Liable for Harassment
In certain circumstances, employers may be held liable for harassment in their workplace. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, "The employer is automatically liable for harassment by a supervisor that results in a negative employment action such as termination, failure to promote or hire, and loss of wages."

Because of this potential for liability, it's critical to be able to recognize sexual harassment or abuse of any employee, especially a minor.

#4: The Consequences of Not Reporting Properly Are Steep
If a mandated reporter fails to fulfill their duty as a reporter, the consequences can be grave.

Almost every state imposes a penalty for failure to report. In many states, this penalty could include a fine or even prison time. In most states failure to report is considered a misdemeanor, but in several states the charge can be upgraded to a felony depending on the severity of the incident.

The inverse situation, intentionally filing a false report, also comes with serious consequences. Many states and territories impose certain penalties to prevent malicious or intentional reporting of unfounded cases. Nineteen states and the Virgin Islands classify false reporting as a misdemeanor. Some states even consider false reporting a felony.

Failing to understand and fulfill one's duty as a mandated reporter can come with serious consequences. Providing appropriate mandated reporter training can help your team members successfully do their duty as reporters.

#5: Teens Tend to Underreport Harassment
Training your human resources team members to recognize and handle child abuse or neglect appropriately can help keep the teens in your employ safe.

Teens are less likely to report harassment, making the ability to recognize an incident when it occurs crucial.

In an interview with Slate, Heather Hlavka, professor of criminology and sociology at Marquette University, shares that "among teenagers, reporting is very, very low… You don't want to feel isolated or like you don't belong, whether it's high school parties, fraternity parties, college campuses, or your workplace. And if you report people who are close to you, you could lose all of that, not to mention get someone close to you in trouble."

How to Train HR Employees on Mandated Reporting

All states provide some form of mandated reporter training for reporters, be they teachers, day care providers, or in the case of AB 1963, HR employees or supervisors. In CA, for example, employers may require their employees to take California's mandated reporter training to fulfill the training requirement of the bill.

While your state may offer a free training program for mandated reporters, many organizations are opting to provide their own training for added control.

Mandated Reporter Training offers standalone courseware that meets the same rigorous standards set by the states. Unlike state training, our course can be taken in 1/4 of the time, so your employees can spend less time training and more time doing their jobs.

By offering our Mandated Reporter Training through your own learning management system (LMS), you enjoy:

  • Tailored content with audience-based training, so that your team gets training relevant to their position.
  • Better tracking, so that you can monitor employee progress and ensure compliance.
  • The potential to integrate mandated reporter training courseware with your existing LMS, which simplifies your team’s training process.

Providing mandated reporter training for your human resources team benefits your organization in numerous ways, helping you remain in compliance with state laws, giving your human resources team the ability to fulfill their duty as reporters, and keeping the minors on your team safe.

Learn more about how you can implement mandated reporter human resources training for your organization. Explore our courseware.

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