Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.
New York State Governor Kathy Hochul recently signed into law eight pieces of legislation designed to combat human trafficking. These laws require many hospitality industry employers to provide specific anti-human-trafficking awareness training to employees. They also require certain hospitality and transportation industry employers to post information regarding services available to human trafficking victims.
The new laws require employers that are required to provide employees with alcohol awareness training to include a human trafficking curriculum in such training; require lodging facilities to train their client-facing employees to recognize human trafficking victims; and require the Thruway Authority, airports, truck stops, port authority, and port authority bus terminals to post informational signs and cards concerning services for human trafficking victims in public restrooms. In addition, establishments that serve alcoholic beverages must display signs about the illegality of human trafficking and the assistance hotline.
The law requiring lodging facilities to provide human trafficking awareness training to employees applies to any inn, hotel, motel, motor court or other establishment that provides lodging to transient guests. Client-facing employees are lodging facility employees who are likely to come into contact with guests in their facility.
A list of approved training programs will be posted online by the Division of Criminal Justice Services and the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, which are working in consultation with the New York State Interagency Task Force on Human Trafficking. The training will cover, at a minimum: the nature of human trafficking, how human trafficking is defined in law, how to identify victims of human trafficking and who employees should contact if a victim is identified. All client-facing employees must receive this training by November 20, 2023, four months from the law’s July 20, 2023 effective date. After that, all new client-facing employees must receive the training within 60 days of their start date.
The training may be administered as a standalone unit or as part of the facility’s existing training program. Employers must pay client-facing employees for attending the training, which is to take place on-site. Each lodging facility must maintain records that indicate its client-facing employees completed the training and maintain such records for the duration of each employee’s employment and one year following separation.