New Reporting/Training Mandate for Businesses Employing Minors

How has the mandate to report suspected child abuse and neglect changed under Assembly Bill (AB) 1963? What are the new training requirements?

Several new laws have taken effect as of January 1, 2021 (and some in late 2020), many of which were related to COVID-19; and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) expansion was also a major development. However, one law that didn’t get much attention was AB 1963 regarding mandatory reporting of child abuse.

The California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA) was adopted in 1980 and makes individuals of certain occupations “mandated reporters” under California Penal Code Section 11165.7. These individuals are required to make formal reports of suspected child abuse and neglect to law enforcement authorities.

Some of the more well-known categories of individuals mandated to report suspected child abuse and neglect include child care providers, school personnel, medical professionals and law enforcement.

The list of who is a mandated reporter under the law has grown over the years, and AB 1963 is the latest expansion that now includes human resource (HR) employees and certain supervisors working for a business having five or more employees and employing minors.

‘Mandated Reporters’

AB 1963 applies to employers with five or more employees and employing minors, and there are two categories of employees within such organizations now labeled “mandated reporters” under the law:

• “human resource employees,” defined as any employee designated by the employer to accept any complaints of misconduct (i.e., discrimination, harassment, retaliation, etc.) made under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act; and

• a person whose duties require direct contact with and supervision of minors’ duties in the workplace.

Covered supervisors’ reporting obligations are limited to instances of sexual abuse; however, HR employees are not subject to this limitation and must report all types of child abuse and neglect.

Training Requirements

Covered employers must provide their employees who are mandated reporters with training in both identifying and reporting and child abuse and neglect.

The training requirement may be met by completing the general online training for mandated reporters offered by the Office of Child Abuse Prevention in the state Department of Social Services at www.cdss.ca.gov/inforesources/ocap/mrt.

Employers with five or more employees that employ minors should quickly familiarize themselves with the obligations of CANRA so they can meet their legal obligations pertaining to HR employees and covered supervisors.


Column based on questions asked by callers on the Labor Law Helpline, a service to California Chamber of Commerce preferred and executive members. For expert explanations of labor laws and Cal/OSHA regulations, not legal counsel for specific situations, call (800) 348-2262 or submit your question at www.hrcalifornia.com.

Staff Contact: Bianca N. Saad

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Bianca Saad
Bianca N. Saad, employment law counsel/subject matter expert, has been a member of the CalChamber legal affairs team since April 2018. She oversees CalChamber coverage of the ever-expanding area of labor-related local ordinances and serves as a co-presenter for CalChamber compliance seminars and webinars. Saad brings to the CalChamber legal affairs team the perspective of an employee representative, coming from nearly eight years in private practice as an employment law and litigation attorney. She graduated with honors from the University of Miami with a B.B.A. in business management. She earned her J.D. from California Western School of Law.