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California Enacts Two Laws Aimed at Combating Human Trafficking


If you operate a hotel or motel in California, you need to be aware of two new laws that help combat human trafficking. The first is Senate Bill (SB) 970. The new law requires hotels and motels subject to the Fair Employment and Housing Act to provide at least 20 minutes of classroom or other effective interactive training and education regarding human trafficking awareness to each employee likely to interact or meet victims of human trafficking. This training must be completed by January 1, 2020 for workers employed as of July 1, 2019, and within six months of hire for workers employed after July 1, 2019.

Assembly Bill (AB) 2034 requires a variety of businesses and other establishments to post a compliant notice regarding human trafficking in a conspicuous place near the public entrance of the establishment or in another conspicuous location in clear view of the public and employees where similar notices are customarily posted. Like SB 970, AB 2034 also requires certain businesses to conduct employee training. Businesses subject to this posting requirement must comply starting January 1, 2019. The California Department of Justice shall develop and provide the model notice for download on the Department’s web site by January 1, 2019.

According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, California had the most human trafficking cases reported in 2017.

The momentum toward educating hoteliers about human trafficking has been building in recent years thanks to the work of ECPAT International and others. Earlier this month, for example, the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Assn. (FRLA) announced the launch of an online training course on human trafficking. Last month, AAHOA, the largest hotel owners’ association in the world, and Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking (BEST) announced an expanded partnership in an effort to educate and enlist more hoteliers, state lodging associations, and hospitality industry partners in the fight against human trafficking.