~Florida Law Requires Training Completion by January 1, 2021~
TALLAHASSEE – To help aid in the prevention and reporting of human trafficking in Florida, legislation was passed in 2019 that requires human trafficking awareness training and the establishment of reporting procedures for Florida’s lodging operators and employees with a compliance deadline of January 1, 2021.
“Florida’s hospitality industry is committed to stopping human trafficking in our state,” said Carol Dover, President & CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA). “Properly training our team members on the front lines in lodging is essential to spot and stop this horrific crime. FRLA stands ready to ensure that our people are trained and that our industry is no longer targeted or vulnerable for trafficking.
“When this important legislation passed in 2019, we knew it was crucial to the fight against human trafficking,” said Attorney General Ashley Moody. Now more than ever, training is imperative. The pandemic’s impact on our economy has unfortunately created hardships, which traffickers have exploited. Adding more eyes and ears in our hotels and restaurants will ensure this horrific crime is identified and reported. As your Attorney General, I remain committed to using all the resources at my disposal to ensure victims are rescued and restored while traffickers are prosecuted and punished. We are grateful to have a partner in FRLA in this important endeavor.”
Section 509.096, Florida Statutes, mandates training for those lodging employees who perform housekeeping duties or work at the front desk or reception areas within 60 days of hiring or by January 1, 2021, whichever occurs later. To ensure the utmost vigilance, the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) recommends that lodging operators train all guest-interactive staff as well, including concierge, bell staff, valet, and others who have direct guest contact. The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), which regulates lodging establishments, released an Industry Bulletin that provides additional details on the new law.
Those details include the following:
- Training programs must be approved by DBPR. FRLA is an approved trainer and offers online training at no cost in English and Spanish. In person training by FRLA is also available for a fee.
- Covered employees must complete training by January 1, 2021, or within 60 days of hire – whichever is later – and must re-train 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 must post prescribed signage in employee areas regarding the hotline.
For more information on FRLA Human Trafficking Awareness Training or requirements under the law, please click here.