California businesses required to post new public notice concerning slavery and human trafficking

The California Legislature has enacted a new law that requires certain businesses to post public notices regarding slavery and human trafficking or face penalties.

California Civil Code section 52.6 requires the following businesses and establishments in the hospitality, transportation, and healthcare industries to post a public notice concerning slavery and human trafficking:

  1. Restaurants that serve alcohol; 
  2. Adult or sexually oriented businesses;  
  3. Airports;
  4. Intercity passenger rail or light rail stations;
  5. Bus stations;
  6. Truck stops;
  7. Emergency rooms within general acute care hospitals;
  8. Urgent care centers;
  9. Farm labor contractors;  
  10. Privately operated job recruitment centers;
  11. Roadside rest areas; and
  12. Businesses or establishments that offer massage or bodywork services.

The notice must contain language that advises victims of their rights and available resources.  The Attorney General’s “model notice” is available here: https://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/ht/HumanTraffickMandate_ENG.pdf.  The notice must be posted near the entrance of the establishment, or in another conspicuous location, in clear view of the public and employees where similar notices are customarily posted.  It must be posted in English, Spanish, and any other language that is widely spoken in the business location.

According to the California Attorney General, it is estimated that there are nearly 20.9 million human trafficking victims worldwide at any time.  Of that number, 14.2 million victims of labor exploitation, 4.5 million victims of sexual exploitation, and 2.2 million victims of state imposed forced labor.

Any business or establishment that fails to comply with the notice requirements is liable for a civil penalty of five hundred dollars ($500) for a first offense and one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each subsequent offense.

Workers in California—Union represented and non-represented alike—can expect to see these notices in their workplace near the FMLA, minimum wage and Dept. of Labor informational postings.

For more information or to discuss this notice posting requirement further, please contact your labor law counsel. 

By Lisl Duncan | June 17, 2013

Legal Developments