The California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act, or CANRA, has been in effect since 1980 and designates many influential individuals in California as ‘mandated reporters’ to report on instances of child abuse or neglect happening in their knowledge. These individuals have historically included teachers, social workers, and firefighters, but the often amended list is getting bigger and potentially more relevant for local employers.

Signed by Governor Newsom in September of 2020, AB 1963 introduces new mandated reporters to the growing list of individuals required to speak up when they have knowledge of any form of child abuse or neglect. These new reporters include human resources personnel of businesses with five or more employees that specifically employ minors, as well as adults whose duties require supervision of or direct contact with minors in those workplaces. HR employees must also report all types of child abuse and neglect while supervising adults are only mandated reporters when it comes to sexual abuse.

All covered employers must provide their employees with training for the new obligations of CANRA effective the first of this year, as failure to report when relevant will lead to a misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in county jail or a maximum fine of $1,000. Free training on the subject is provided online at If reporting is necessary for any situation, contact your county’s child protective services agency. You may also report abuse to a police or sheriff’s department, a county probation department, or a county welfare department.

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