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New York Hotels Required to Share Human Trafficking Info


December 4, 2018
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New York Hotels Are Now Required to Provide Information Regarding Human Trafficking to their Guests and Employees

As of October 14, 2018, New York hotels are now required to provide information regarding human trafficking to their guests and employees. The new information cards must be posted in various public spaces within their establishments.

New York Hotels Required to Share Human Trafficking Info

Photo courtesy of Marten Bjork (Unsplash.com)

The rationale behind the new law (Assembly Bill 9870) is that victims of human trafficking are often housed in hotels, at least on a short-term basis. “Since trafficking networks rely on legitimate businesses like hotels to sustain their illegal operations, that’s where we need to focus our efforts to help these victims,” said Assemblymember Amu Paulin, who sponsored the law. “For some victims, this information may be the only opportunity to learn about services available to them. Additionally, because of the discreet size of the informational cards, it may be possible for a victim to take a card unnoticed and use the card to call the hotline for help at a later time.”

New Requirements for NY Lodging Facilities

The new hotel regulation amends New York’s general business law to require lodging facilities to provide information about services for human trafficking victims on informational cards in public areas, including in the public restrooms, the individual guest rooms, and near the public entrance or other conspicuous places in plain sight of the guests and employees. Under the new human trafficking law, the definition of lodging facility does not include “an establishment treated as a dwelling unit for the purposes of any state or local law or regulation or an establishment located within a building that has five or less rooms for rent or hire and that is actually occupied as a residence by the proprietor of such establishment.” Accordingly, most B&Bs and home rentals do fall under the law.

With regard to the format of the card, there are three options:

  • A card created by the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) in consultation with the New York State Interagency Task Force on Human Trafficking;
  • A card created by the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS); or
  • A card created by the hotel or other lodging facility.

The OTDA has not yet published its model informational card. However, the DHS has created cards, which are available here. Should businesses elect to create their own cards, the law provides that the informational cards must only contain information concerning service for human trafficking victims and must prominently include the national human trafficking hotline telephone number (1-888-373-7888).

For New York hotels and other lodging facilities that have not yet taken steps to comply with the new law, the time to act is now. For assistance, we encourage you to contact a member of the Scarinci Hollenbeck Business Law Group.

If you have questions, please contact us

If you have any questions or if you would like to discuss the matter further, please contact me, Roshan D. Shah, or the Scarinci Hollenbeck attorney with whom you work, at 201-806-3364.

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