New York Enacts Training Requirements for Certain Hospitality Employees and Posting Requirements to Combat Human Trafficking

Earlier this year on July 20, 2022, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul signed eight pieces of legislation into law to provide support and resources for victims of human trafficking. Significantly, these new laws impose training and posting requirements on various employers in the hospitality and transportation industry.

Human Trafficking Recognition Training

Pursuant to the new laws, all employers that are required to provide New York State Liquor Authority-certified Alcohol Training Awareness Programs (“ATAP”) must include in the training a component related to human trafficking awareness. The policy rationale behind this new requirement is that the human trafficking training component will better equip bar and restaurant employees to properly identify and assist human trafficking victims. Similarly, every inn, hotel, motel, and establishment that provides lodging to transient guests must provide an on-site human trafficking recognition training program to all employees who “are likely to interact or come into contact with guests.”

The New York Division of Criminal Justice Services and the New York Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, which are consulting with the New York State Interagency Task Force on Human Trafficking, will post a list of approved training programs online in the near future. At a minimum, the training will address the nature of human trafficking, recognizing victims of human trafficking, and reporting suspected human trafficking.

The new laws regarding the training requirements will go into effect on July 30, 2023, but employers have until November 20, 2023 to train all covered employees. Thereafter, all covered employees must receive this training within their first 60 days of employment. Employers are also required to compensate employees for their training time and to maintain records of all training records. Entities that fail to implement a human trafficking awareness program curriculum will no longer be authorized to administer any alcohol training awareness program and will not be eligible for certification as a state liquor authority school. Further, any currently certified alcohol training awareness program that fails to include human trafficking awareness training as part of its curriculum will lose its certification.

Human Trafficking Awareness Posting Requirements

In addition to the training requirements, the Thruway Authority, truck stops, airports, Port Authority airports, and Port Authority bus terminals are currently required to visibly display signs containing crucial services for human trafficking victims in restrooms. The strategic location of these signs, which must also feature the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline, is expected to promote awareness and help victims escape to safety.

Additionally, the new laws require establishments that sell alcoholic beverages or adult entertainment to post visible information notices that clearly feature the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline for assistance. The notice must be positioned upright in a conspicuous place where patrons and employees of the establishment can easily read it.

The New York Department of Labor issued a human trafficking awareness and prevention poster, in both English and Spanish, which is available for establishment use. 

As the law continues to evolve on these matters, please note that this article is current as of date and time of publication and may not reflect subsequent developments. The content and interpretation of the issues addressed herein is subject to change. Cole Schotz P.C. disclaims any and all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this publication to the fullest extent permitted by law. This is for general informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Do not act or refrain from acting upon the information contained in this publication without obtaining legal, financial and tax advice. For further information, please do not hesitate to reach out to your firm contact or to any of the attorneys listed in this publication.

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