In an effort to combat the $32 billion human trafficking industry, California law now requires certain businesses to post public notices regarding slavery and human trafficking. Senate Bill 1193 (SB 1193) added §52.6 to the Civil Code. As of April 1, §52.6 requires specified businesses and establishments to post a notice informing the public of telephone hotline numbers to seek help or report unlawful activity.
SB 1193 affects a broad range of businesses in the transportation, hospitality, and health-care sectors. The new law requires that the following private businesses and establishments post public notices about slavery and human trafficking:
On-sale general public premises licensees under the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act, which includes most nightclubs and bars.
Certain adult or sexually oriented businesses.
Commercial service airports with more than 10,000 passenger boardings each year.
Privately owned and operated truck stops.
Emergency rooms within general acute care hospitals.
Urgent care centers.
Farm labor contractors.
Privately operated job recruitment centers.
Certain businesses or establishments that offer massage or bodywork services.
The new law requires these entities to post the following notice:
If you or someone you know is being forced to engage in any activity and cannot leave -- whether it is commercial sex, housework, farm work, construction, factory, retail, or restaurant work, or any other activity -- call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888 or the California Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST) at 1-888-KEY-2-FRE(EDOM) or 1-888-539-2373 to access help and services. Victims of slavery and human trafficking are protected under United States and California law.
The hotlines are:
• Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
• Operated by nonprofit, nongovernmental organizations.
• Anonymous and confidential.
• Accessible in more than 160 languages.
• Able to provide help, referral to services, training, and general information.
Affected entities must post the notice in a conspicuous place near their public entrance or in another location clearly visible to the public and employees. The posting must be at least 8.5 inches by 11 inches and written in size 16 font.
The specified businesses and establishments must post the notice in English, Spanish, and in one other language that is the most widely spoken language in the business’s or establishment’s location. For those counties where a language other than English or Spanish is the most widely spoken language, §52.6 does not require the public notice to be printed in the non-English and non-Spanish language.
Businesses or establishments that fail to comply with §52.6 are subject to civil liability. The penalty for violating this law is $500 for the first offense and $1,000 for each subsequent offense. However, the fine can only be imposed if the business or establishment has been given reasonable notice of noncompliance and the noncompliance is not corrected within 30 days.
Employers are urged to consult with counsel to determine if they are affected by SB 1193. Should you have any questions, please contact Gordon & Rees, LLP to assist.