The California legislature recently passed Senate Bill 970 (SB 970) in an effort to combat human trafficking. SB 970 added Section 12950.3 to the Government Code and amended the Federal Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). FEHA already requires employers to provide sexual harassment training to their employees but is now taking it a step further with some employers.
Hotel and motel employers (excluding bed and breakfast inns), as of January 1, 2019, are required to provide at least 20 minutes of interactive human trafficking awareness training to all employees (within six (6) months of being hired) who are likely to interact with human trafficking victims. Employees covered under this new law must be provided such training by January 1, 2020 and once every two years thereafter.
Training must include the following:
1. The definition of human trafficking and commercial exploitation of children.
2. Guidance on how to identify individuals who are most at risk for human trafficking.
3. The difference between labor and sex trafficking specific to the hotel sector.
4. Guidance on the role of hospitality employees in reporting and responding to this issue.
5. The contact information of appropriate agencies, including, but not limited to, the National Human Trafficking Hotline toll-free telephone number, 1-888-373-7888, and text line, 233733, and the telephone numbers of the appropriate local law enforcement agencies.
If an employer fails to provide such training to covered employees, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DEFH) can seek an order requiring them to comply with the new law.