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December 15, 2020

How Changes to California Mandated Reporter Law Impact Employers

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A manager in a cafe working on his tablet while teen employees work in the background. Learn more about California’s mandated reporter training requirements.

As of January 1, 2021, an update to California’s mandated reporting law will impact human resources employees and supervisors at organizations who hire teens throughout the state. Discover what this and other recent legislative changes mean for businesses in the state.

California leads the nation with groundbreaking mandated reporting legislation. Currently, the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Law, originally adopted in 1980, identifies certain individuals as mandated reporters of child abuse and neglect. It strongly encourages employers to provide their employees who are mandated reporters with training in these duties.

Recent legislation has pushed to classify more individuals as mandated reporters and to require that more organizations offer training. Because of this, it’s important for employers to stay abreast of these legislative updates and have a plan in place to ensure their team has the training they need.

What California’s Mandated Reporter Law Updates Mean For Your Employee Training Program

AB 1963 - HR Departments & Supervisors
The most recent update to California mandated reporter law, Assembly Bill (AB) 1963 goes into effect on January 1, 2021. This groundbreaking legislation will help protect teens in the workplace by making human resources employees and some front line supervisors mandated reporters of child abuse and neglect.

To qualify, the human resources employee or frontline supervisor must be employed by an organization that a) has at least 5 employees and b) employs minors. Human resources employees are mandated reporters of child abuse and neglect, frontline supervisors are required to report sexual abuse.

Additionally, AB 1963 requires employers of these HR employers and supervisors to provide training. This training should include information on how to identify and report instances of abuse or neglect. While this requirement may be met by completing the general online training for mandated reporters offered by the California Department of Social Services, many employers prefer to have their own training program to better integrate it with their existing processes.

AB 189 - Autism Service Providers
Assembly Bill 189 was signed into law on October 09, 2019. It creates several new types of mandated reporter in the state of California, including:

  • Autism service providers
  • Autism service professionals
  • Autism service paraprofessionals

By requiring these individuals to report suspected child abuse and neglect, California is making important strides to protect children.

Unlike other legislation covered here, this bill did not specifically require employers to provide training. However, existing state law does require some organizations, such as school districts, offices of education, and diagnostic centers, to provide mandated reporter training. Other employers are strongly encouraged to do the same.

AB 1207 - Child Daycare Facilities
This bill, which took effect on January 1, 2018, required the California Department of Social Services to provide information to providers, administrators, and employees of licensed child daycare facilities on the detection and reporting of child abuse. Similarly, the department is also required to provide training and statewide guidance on the responsibilities of California’s mandated reporters.

This bill also made it a requirement for the state’s mandated reporters to complete the department’s training as a condition of licensure. This made it absolutely imperative for all required professionals to be trained as mandated reporters.

Most impactful for employers, the bill authorizes the department to revoke a facility’s license if a violation of the bill’s provisions isn’t corrected within 90 days of receipt of a notice.

Providing an online training platform or ensuring all team members take the required state training is the best way to ensure these requirements are met.

AB 1432 - School Districts
AB 1432 required school districts, county offices of education, state special schools and diagnostic centers, and charter schools to train their employees on their reporting duties.

This bill, approved by the governor on September 29, 2014, required the above organizations to:

  • Train their mandated reporters annually using the online training provided by the California Department of Social Services, or another training
  • Develop a process for all persons required to receive training under the bill to provide proof of completing this training within the first 6 weeks of each school year or within 6 weeks of that person’s employment.

These ongoing developments make it increasingly clear the emphasis the state of California is putting on classifying more individuals as reporters, and on ensuring these individuals receive training. Organizations must have a plan in place to train their staff when necessary. Interested in mandated reporter training for your organization? View our courseware.

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