AB 218 was signed by Governor Newsome and becomes effective January 1, 2020. In preparation, CAJPA has compiled some helpful tips on best practices and resources which are summarized below.
What you should know:
- Broadens the definition of Abuse and Molestation to include “assault”
- Statute of Limitations for Sexual Assault and Molestation (SAM) moves from age 26 to age 40, with a five-year statute for “recovered or repressed” memory from the time of discovery
- There is a three-year retroactive window opened by AB 218’s enactment that permits old claims to be revived.
- Treble Damages can be imposed if an effort to conceal can be proven. These damages may not be covered, and may be the responsibility of the public entity to pay.
- Claims may pre-date the existence of the current risk pool.
Steps to take to prepare now:
- Enact boundary-setting policies, procedures, and training
- Hiring: Use available background check resources like NASDTEC LEA Clearinghouse (an ASCIP offered resource)
- Student/child supervision: Emphasis on early identification of possible grooming activities or physical boundary violations in order to prevent abuse.
- Adopt and enforce ZERO TOLERANCE policy for student sexual harassment/assault/abuse.
- Tighten site access (i.e. knowledge/control of all visitors, tradespersons, vendors, volunteers, and walk-on coaches, etc.).
- Identify historical insurance coverage and policy limits
- Update and provide targeted staff training on best practices regarding: Recognition of potential predator behavior; Personal and physical boundaries; Reporting requirements and mandates.
To view the entire CAJPA article: https://www.cajpa.org/articles/ab-218-enactment-update