With content by ACSA Partner for Purpose Keenan & Associates
Due to the enactment of AB 949 (Chapter 84, Statutes of 2017) section 45125.1, the California Education Code has been amended to expand the categories of persons for whom school districts are required to conduct criminal background checks. AB 949 applies the rules outlined below to any individual operating as a sole proprietor of an entity that has a contract with a school district, and requires the school district to prepare and submit the sole proprietor’s fingerprints to the California Department of Justice (DOJ).
Under Education Code section 45125.1, all California public elementary and secondary schools are required to conduct criminal background checks under the following circumstances:
- Before employing individuals in non-certificated positions; and
- Before contracting with an entity for employees for the following services, if those employees may have contact with pupils:
- School and classroom janitorial
- Schoolsite administrative
- Schoolsite grounds and landscape maintenance
- Pupil transportation
- Schoolsite food-related
- In the school district’s discretion, before contracting with an entity for employees for other services, if those employees may have contact with pupils.
- Those employees must submit or have their fingerprints submitted to the California Department of Justice (DOJ) for a criminal background check. The only exceptions to these requirements are:
- For entities providing these services to a school district in an emergency or exceptional situation, such as when pupil health or safety is endangered or when repairs are needed to make school facilities safe and habitable; or
- If the school district determines that the employees of the entity will have limited contact with pupils, due to the amount of time they will be on school grounds, their worksite proximity to pupils and other factors. If a school district makes this determination, it must take appropriate steps to protect the safety of any pupils that may come into contact with these employees.
An entity having a contract with a school district as outlined above may not permit its employees to come into contact with pupils until the DOJ has ascertained that the employee has not been convicted of a violent or serious felony as defined by California Education Code section 45122.1.
As of January 1, 2018, these rules now apply to sole proprietors that contract with school districts as well as employees of entities that contract with school districts. Districts should ensure that they are conducting background checks on sole proprietors that meet the criteria set forth in section 45125.1.
2018 also brings the enactment of new employee training requirements applicable to California employers. Both of the following laws went into effect on January 1, 2018.
SB 396 — Sexual harassment training for supervisors (AB 1825) must include training on gender identity
SB 396 was signed into law and became effective on January 1, 2018. The new law states that an employer shall also provide training on harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation as a component of the training and education on sexual harassment that has been mandated by AB 1825 since 2007. The training and education required by SB 396 must include practical examples of harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation and must be presented by trainers or educators with knowledge and expertise in those areas.
Keenan SafeSchools, Keenan SafeColleges and Keenan SafePersonnel (KSS/KSC/KSP) AB 1825 courses have been enhanced to cover the training required by SB 396. The updated portions of the courses are authored by Walter G. Meyer, a California based attorney, author, anti-bullying expert and partner in Civility Partners, LLC.
As a reminder, compliance with AB 1825 requires that employers must provide each employee a copy of their sexual harassment policy. Policies can be uploaded into KSS/KSC/KSP and assigned to employees along with the training, streamlining compliance and recordkeeping.
AB 1207 — Mandated reporter training for child care centers
AB 1207 (Chapter 414, Statutes of 2015) requires all licensed child day care providers, administrators, and employees of licensed child day care facilities to be trained regarding detecting and reporting child abuse and neglect.
The provisions of AB 1207 apply only to “licensed child day care providers, administrators and employees of licensed child day care facilities.” K-12s, County Offices of Education, and Community Colleges that offer daycare, preschool, transitional kindergarten, or Head Start programs are generally not considered child day care facilities under the Child Day Care Act. However, to the extent that those entities are licensed child day care facilities under the Health and Safety Code, they are subject to AB 1207’s training requirements.
Initial training for existing licensed providers must be completed by March 30, 2018. New providers must complete the training within the first 90 days after filling a position for which training is required.
If training is obtained from a training provider other than the California Department of Social Services (DSS), then AB 1207 requires them to report to, and obtain approval from, DSS regarding the training that person shall use in lieu of the online training module.
Keenan is seeking clarification from DSS regarding the approval process of our existing KSS/KSC/KSP mandated reporter courses with modifications as required by AB 1207.
In the meantime, DSS has posted its AB 1207 training at http://childcare.mandatedreporterca.com.
Please contact your Keenan Account Manager with any questions.
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