California Expands Mandated Reporters in the Workplace

In 1980, the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Law required that certain employees are designated as mandated reporters who must make formal reports of suspected child abuse or neglect to law enforcement. As of January 1, 2021, California law has expanded what workers are designated as mandated reporters to include human resources professionals and front-line supervisors. As an employee in California, this new law may change your responsibilities in the workplace and may require reporting by others if certain information is disclosed. To learn more, call or contact an experienced employment law attorney in your area today.

What is a Mandated Reporter?

A mandated reporter is someone in the workplace who is required by law to report any suspected instances of child abuse or neglect. Under California law, child abuse and neglect includes acts and omissions constituting physical abuse, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, willful cruelty, unjustified punishment, unlawful corporal punishment or injury, and general neglect. While most people associate mandated reporting with the school settings, mandated reporting is required in many other employment situations.

Expansion of the Mandated Reporter Law

The California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Law has been amended multiple times over the years, and on January 1, 2021 the law was expanded again to include human resources employees working for businesses with at least five workers that also employ minors. A human resources employee is defined as any worker that accepts complaints of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and other issues that fall under the state’s Fair Employment and Housing Act.

The expansion of the law also applies to front-line supervisors who work for businesses with five or more employees whose duties require direct contact with and supervision of minors. However, front-line supervisors are restricted to mandatory reporting of sexual abuse only and not all types of suspected child abuse.

Impacts on the Workplace

As a California employee, this could have an impact on your personal workplace responsibilities or the responsibilities of others at work. Employers who have five or more workers and employ minors are required to provide training that are mandatory reporters under the expanded law. This training must include education on both the identification and reporting of suspected child abuse and neglect. This also means that employers are required to inform workers who are mandated reporters in the workplace. As a mandated reporter, employees who fail to report suspected child abuse and neglect can face both civil and criminal penalties under state law. To learn more about the expanded mandated reporting requirements in California, speak with an experienced local employment law attorney in your area today.

Talk to an Employment Law Attorney

Mandated reporting is a serious issue in California workplaces, and failure to adhere to the new law can result in serious penalties for employees and employers alike. Do you have more questions about whether you qualify as a mandatory reporter in the workplace? Call or contact a knowledgeable California employment law attorney in your area to learn more.