Legislation Defining “Public Shaming” As Elder Abuse Passes Assembly Aging and Long-Term Care Committee

On April 17, an Assembly bill defining “public shaming” as elder abuse passed the Assembly Aging and Long-Term Care Committee.

AB 2324 (Rubio, D-Baldwin Park) would include the definition of “public shaming” into the abuse of an elder or dependent adult. The legislation defines public shaming as “the taking transmission or dissemination of an image of an elder or dependent adult that shames, degrades, humiliates or otherwise harms the personal dignity of the elder or dependent adult.”

This bill was introduced in light of several recent incidents where an unflattering or humiliating image was taken of the elder, without their consent, and posted to social media.

While LeadingAge is certainly supportive of the concept of the bill, we believe that the definition of “public shaming is overly broad, and may have some unintentional consequences. While we have narrowed the definition significantly since the bill’s introduction, we are still working with the author’s office and the sponsor to include language around the areas of intent and consent of the elder.

LeadingAge California currently has no position on this bill, but we have committed to the author that we will support the bill should the additional language be included in the definition of public shaming. AB 2324 will be heard next in the Assembly Human Services Committee on April 24. LeadingAge California will continue to keep members updated on the status of this bill.