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New law expands suspected child abuse and neglect reporting requirements; dental practice employees could be mandated reporters

February 03, 2021 1292

Quick Summary:

The California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act makes individuals of certain occupations mandated reporters of suspected child abuse and neglect. Certain dental practice employees could now be considered mandated reporters under the expansion.

A new law that expands the list of individuals who are required to report suspected child abuse and neglect could apply to certain dental practice employees.

The California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act makes individuals of certain occupations, such as child care providers, school personnel, health professionals and law enforcement, mandated reporters of suspected child abuse and neglect.

Assembly Bill 1963, which took effect Jan. 1, expands that list to include human resources employees and certain supervisors working for a business that has five or more employees and employing minors.

Under the new law, mandated reporters now include:

  • “Human resource employees,” defined as any employee designated by the employer to accept any complaints of misconduct made under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act.
  • A person whose duties require direct contact with and supervision of minors’ duties in the workplace.

The expanded mandate could apply to dental offices that employ minors. Covered supervisors’ reporting obligations are limited to instances of sexual abuse; however, designated HR employees are not subject to that limitation and must report all types of child abuse and neglect.

Covered employers are required to provide employees who are mandated reporters with training in both identifying and reporting child abuse and neglect, as well as on elder or dependent adult abuse and neglect. Employees can fulfill that requirement by completing the general online training offered by the Office of Child Abuse Prevention within the California Department of Social Services. The department also offers elder and dependent adult abuse and neglect training.

For more information on California’s mandated reporting laws in the CDA Practice Support resource center.