AB 40 went into effect just weeks ago, which requires “mandated reporters” to report abuse or even suspected abuse to local law enforcement officials immediately. But just what is a mandated reporter?
In California – which has rates of elder abuse accounting for nearly 11% of all reported elder abuse cases in the nation – the term mandated reporter is defined as: “Any person who has assumed full or intermittent responsibility for care or custody of an elder or dependent adult, whether or not that person receives compensation, including administrators, supervisors, and any licensed staff of a public or private facility that provides care or services for elder or dependent adults, or any elder or dependent adult care custodian, health practitioner, or employee of a county adult protective services agency or local law enforcement agency is a mandated reporter.”
That means that in California, mandated reporters can include all support staff in long-term care facilities.
Thankfully, AB 40 demonstrates that our lawmakers recognize that even one act of elder abuse is too many. As such, the state has taken measures to punish mandated reporters who fail to report elder abuse. Although failure to report abuse or suspected abuse is considered a misdemeanor, it is punishable by a fine of up to $1000 and/or 6 months in jail.
The Office of The Attorney General has created a short video which details your legal responsibilities as a mandated reporter (see below). If you prefer, text of the Legal Duty Curriculum from the Office of The Attorney General can also found below.
Elder abuse in California is both a criminal and civil offense. Criminal elder abuse describes the willful infliction of physical or emotional suffering on an elder. Civil elder abuse includes any physical or financial abuse, neglect or abandonment resulting in physical or mental harm.
If you suspect that a friend, family member, or loved one has been the victim of elder abuse, contact an experienced California elder abuse lawyer to help evaluate your case and advise you how to proceed. Christopher Walton has years of experience providing caring, compassionate representation to victims of elder abuse and their families. Call (866) 338-7079 for a confidential consultation.
Link to Your Legal Duty – Reporting Elder Abus video and text: http://oag.ca.gov/bmfea