On July 20, 2022, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul signed eight pieces of legislation into law aimed to provide support and resources to victims of human trafficking. These laws impose new training requirements for employees in the hospitality and transportation industries, in addition to requiring crucial information be posted in the restrooms of human trafficking hotspots like airports, bus terminals and truck stops.
For businesses in the hospitality and transportation industries, this legislation imposes new employee training and notice requirements. These informational signs and cards are intended educate the public and to inform victims of their rights and provide resources for assistance. These notices must be visibly posted the public restrooms at the following locations: all 27 Thruway Authority service areas, all airports including all Port Authority airports, all Port Authority bus terminals and all truck stops.
Any adult entertainment venue or an establishment that sells alcoholic beverages must also visibly display similar bilingual notices. The notices must clearly display the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline number as well as the Trafficking in Persons and Worker Exploitation Task Force Complaint Line number. If the establishment fails to display these notices a fine up to $100 per day fine will be imposed until the violation is corrected.
In the hospitality industry, employers who provide New York State Liquor Authority-certified Alcohol Training Awareness Programs (ATAP) must include additional curriculum aimed at helping bar and restaurant employees spot the warning signs of human trafficking to help identify potential victims in need of assistance. Similarly, any hotel, motel or lodging facility that provides lodging to transient guests must provide human trafficking recognition training to any employee who is likely to interact with or come into contact with guests.
The State’s Division of Criminal Justice Services and Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, along with the New York State Interagency Task Force on Human Trafficking are tasked with creating a list of approved training programs that meet the standards set forth in the legislation. At a minimum, employee training must cover information about the nature of human trafficking, recognizing victims of human trafficking, and how to report suspected instances of human trafficking. The training can be taken as a supplemental course or incorporated into the employer’s existing training program. Further, employers must maintain records of employee training during the time of their employment and for a year after separation.
New hires must be trained in this curriculum within the first 60 days of employment starting July 30, 2023; all current covered employees must be trained by November 20, 2023. Employees must receive the training onsite and be compensated for their training time.
Entities that fail to implement the program curriculum will not be authorized to administer any alcohol training awareness program making them ineligible for certification as a state liquor authority school. Any currently certified alcohol training awareness program that fails to implement the curriculum will also lose its certification.
For more information regarding compliance with this new law please contact Dina M. Mastellone, Esq. via email here or Brigette N. Eagan, Esq. via email here in Genova Burns’ Human Resources, Counseling & Compliance Practice, or call 973.533.0777.