In 2019, the Florida Legislature passed and Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law new human trafficking legislation affecting lodging operators. Section 509.096, Florida Statutes, includes mandatory human trafficking awareness training for lodging employees who perform housekeeping duties or work at the front desk or reception areas. Prudent lodging operators will also train their other guest interaction positions, including concierge, bell staff, valet, and others.
Announcement: Rule Development Meeting
DBPR’s Division of Hotels & Restaurants will be hosting a rule development workshop on Friday, February 28, 2020 at 1 pm in Orlando. This workshop will focus on the human trafficking awareness requirements for public lodging establishments that were recently added to Chapter 509, Florida Statutes. It will be open to the public and all are welcome to attend. For for more information, please see the meeting notice.
Details in the Law
Lodging operators should be aware of these details regarding implementation and enforcement of the law:
- Training programs must first be approved by DBPR, and none are yet approved
- DBPR must promulgate rules – a legally prescribed process – to specify the approval process and other particulars, which are in process and will be completed later this year.
- Covered employees must complete training by January 1, 2021, or within 60 days of hire, whichever is later, and annually thereafter
- Covered lodging properties must implement a procedure to report suspected human trafficking to the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or local law enforcement, and they must post prescribed signage in employee areas regarding the Hotline.
- For FRLA online training in English and Spanish – currently offered at no cost – click here.
Human Trafficking in the News
Super Bowl Also Brought Human Trafficking Concerns To Miami February 20, 2020
Lawsuit claims Florida hotels didn’t stop sex trafficking February 9, 2020
Florida man arrested for human trafficking in Tampa February 3, 2020
Human Trafficking in Florida: The facts you need to know February 1, 2020
Reporter’s Notebook: Human trafficking in hotels January 31, 2020
A Q&A with a human trafficking expert January 30, 2020
FOX 4 INVESTIGATION: How victims get trapped in sex trafficking January 29, 2020
Hospitality Increases Efforts to Combat Human Trafficking January 29, 2020
Department of Health Addresses Human Trafficking January 27, 2020
Human trafficking continues to plague Southwest Florida January 27, 2020
Human trafficking continues to be a growing problem in Florida January 23, 2020
Florida attorney general focused on stopping human trafficking January 23, 2020
Sheriff Rescues 18-Year-Old Sex Trafficking Victim In Brandon January 23, 2020
Building a case against child traffickers in Florida can take years January 22, 2020
St. Pete Police reveal new human trafficking task force January 22, 2020
Human Trafficking in Florida Restaurants and Hotels September 12, 2018