Workplace training Update

California Employers with Minor Employees Must Provide Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Training

California employers must now train certain HR professionals and employees who supervise minor employees and who are obligated to report suspected child abuse and neglect to law enforcement authorities.

California enacted AB 1963 in September 2020, amending the state’s Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act. The Act imposes a duty to report suspected child abuse to law enforcement on various adult professionals defined as “mandated reporters.”  More specifically, a mandated reporter who observes or knows of a child whom the person knows or reasonably suspects is a victim of child abuse or neglect must report the incident to a law enforcement agency designated to receive such reports. Failure to report may result in a misdemeanor conviction punishable by up to six months’ confinement and/or up to $1,00 in fines. The Act has been amended multiple times in the three decades since its passage.

AB 1963 imposes new reporting obligations on certain employees and new training obligations on organizations with five or more employees who employ minors, as summarized below.

Supervisor and HR Employee Reporting Obligations

The 2020 amendment expands the definition of mandated reporter of child abuse or neglect to include any human resource employee designated by the employer to accept discrimination or harassment complaints.

Additionally, any employee who supervises and has direct contact with minor employees is a mandated reporter of sexual abuse. Although the amendment limits the supervisor’s reporting obligation to sexual abuse, the law does not “modify or limit the duty to report known or suspected child abuse or neglect when the person is acting in some other capacity that would otherwise make the person a mandated reporter.”

Employer Training Obligations

AB 1963 requires employers to provide covered HR and supervisory employees training in child abuse and neglect identification and reporting. Employers can meet this obligation by requiring covered employees to complete the general online training for mandated reporters provided by the California Office of Child Abuse Prevention.

Learn More

To learn more about your obligations for this training and other types of sexual harassment training in California, please contact us.

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