During the 2019 legislative session, language was added to Florida Statutes to increase human trafficking awareness by imposing various requirements on public lodging establishments, including apartment communities.
The requirements added by Section 509.096 go into effect January 1, 2021. This new law will be enforced by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). Click here for a copy of DBPR's new FAQ sheet regarding this law.
This new law requires all public lodging establishments to:
- Implement a procedure for reporting suspected human trafficking to the National Human Trafficking Hotline or to a local law enforcement agency.
- Post a human trafficking awareness sign in a conspicuous location in the establishment, which is accessible to employees. The sign must be at least 11 inches by 15 inches in size, printed in an easily legible font and in at least 32-point type. The sign must state in English, Spanish, and any other language predominantly spoken in that area which the department deems appropriate, substantially the following: “If you or someone you know is being forced to engage in an activity and cannot leave, whether it is prostitution, housework, farm work, factory work, retail work, restaurant work, or any other activity, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 888-373-7888 or text INFO or HELP to 233-733 to access help and services. Victims of slavery and human trafficking are protected under United States and Florida law.” Click here to access and print a sample sign provided by DBPR.
- Provide annual training on human trafficking awareness to employees of the establishment who perform housekeeping duties in the rental units or who work at the front desk or reception area where guests check in or check out. DBPR has indicated that a leasing office where residents check in or out will be treated as a front desk under the law. The training must be provided for new employees within 60 days after they begin employment in a housekeeping or reception area role, or by January 1, 2021, whichever occurs later. Each employee must submit to the hiring establishment a signed and dated acknowledgment of having received the training, which the establishment must provide to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation upon request. The establishment may keep such acknowledgment electronically. A public lodging establishment can create their own training curriculum or choose an approved curriculum listed on the DBPR website. All training programs must be approved by DBPR to be in compliance with this requirement.
In an effort to help members reach compliance with the annual training requirement, FAA worked with the Florida Alliance to End Human Trafficking on a webinar-based training. This webinar uses DBPR-approved training curriculum provided by the Florida Alliance to End Human Trafficking. Please click on the link below to access our webpage with the training link.
Please note you will have to be logged in as an FAA member in order to view this training.