By year end of 2019, California hotel and motel employers must train all of their employees about human trafficking – to raise awareness, teach employees how to spot victims, and provide guidance on what to do to help.
As we pointed out in our January 2019 blog about new California employment laws, SB-970 mandates that by January 1, 2020, all California hotel and motel employers must provide at least 20 minutes of classroom or other effective interactive training and education on human trafficking awareness to every employee who is likely to interact or come into contact with victims of human trafficking and who is employed as of July 1, 2019 (and to each new employee thereafter, within six months of his or her employment). After January 1, 2020, hotel and motel employers must provide such human trafficking awareness training and education once every two years.
SB-970 defines the employees who must receive such training as those who have recurring interactions with the public, including employees who work in reception areas, perform housekeeping duties, help customers in moving their possessions, or drive customers.
The human trafficking awareness training that is mandated must include, at minimum, the following: (1) the definition of human trafficking and commercial exploitation of children; (2) instruction on how to identify individuals who are at greatest risk of being trafficked; (3) explanation of the difference between labor and sex trafficking specific to the hotel sector; (4) guidance for hospitality employees on how to report and respond to this issue; and (5) contact information for relevant agencies, including the toll free phone and text numbers for the National Human Trafficking hotline and appropriate local law enforcement agencies. Trainings may also include materials and information made available by the Department of Justice, the Blue Campaign of the Department of Homeland Security, and private nonprofits representing the interests of victims of human trafficking.
The Blue Campaign has put together an informative Hospitality Toolkit, explaining how employees in various hotel departments (housekeeping, food and beverage, reception, security, etc) can recognize victims of human trafficking. This Toolkit also provides directions and resources for what hospitality employees can do, without putting the person in further danger, when they suspect someone may be a victim of human trafficking.
Many are at risk of becoming victims of human trafficking – male and female, adults and minors, undocumented migrants and U.S. citizens alike. SB-970 is an important step in helping educate about this issue and in ensuring that those most likely to encounter victims of human trafficking can assist in helping end this horrible phenomena.
We recommend that California hotel and motel employers train all of their employees between now and the end of 2019 — and that they develop a component about human trafficking to be included in their “new hire” processes for all employees brought on after January 1, 2020.