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New Jersey Hotels, Motels Must Provide Staff Human Trafficking Training under New Regulation

By David G. Islinger and Eliza L. Lloyd
  • May 2, 2018

Under new regulation, hotels and motels in New Jersey must train employees on human trafficking. Training includes posting an informational human trafficking poster and ensuring certain hotel and motel employees view an informational video on human trafficking as a condition of employment. The regulation applies to all hotels and motels, regardless of the number of employees employed.

Any license, permit, certificate, or approval under New Jersey’s Hotel and Multiple Dwelling Law may be at risk if the hotel or motel cannot verify its employees have completed the required training.

Human Trafficking Poster, Training

The New Jersey Human Trafficking Prevention, Protection, and Treatment Act, enacted in 2013, directs the state Department of Community Affairs to develop training for hotel and motel owners, operators, and staff on handling and responding to suspected cases of human trafficking.

The Department adopted regulation in December 2017 for hotel and motel employees. Beginning January 16, 2018, all hotels and motels must post an informational human trafficking poster provided by the Department and ensure that certain hotel and motel employees view an informational video on human trafficking as a condition of employment.

Employees working in management, at the front desk or in registration, in janitorial or housekeeping services, or in security must view the video and verify to the hotel or motel owner or agent of the hotel or motel that they watched the video. The hotel or motel must maintain a list of current employees who watched the video. The list must identify their names, positions, and the dates on which they watched the video. New employees must watch the video within six months of employment.

The Department’s video (nearly eight minutes long and available in English and Spanish) informs viewers of possible signs of human trafficking, such as a hotel guest who prevents another individual from speaking for himself or herself or a guest controlling another’s identification documents. It also explains what viewers should and should not do in response to a situation in which human trafficking may be suspected. Among other things, the video instructs viewers to report any concerns of human trafficking to management and security. Viewers are cautioned not to falsely accuse or relay suspicions of human trafficking directly to the hotel guest, as there may be an alternative explanation.

Certification

The owner (or agent) of the hotel or motel must certify that all employees that fall under the regulation have viewed the video. The certification must be made on a form provided by the Bureau of Housing Inspection and submitted with the hotel’s or motel’s application for a certificate of inspection.

The verified completion of this training by required staff is a condition of the issuance, maintenance, or renewal of any license, permit, certificate, or approval required, permitted to be granted, or issued under New Jersey’s Hotel and Multiple Dwelling Law.

Alternative Training Program Exception

Employers with an alternative human trafficking training program may apply for an exception from compliance with the regulation. Three copies of the application must be filed with the Bureau of Housing Inspection or local enforcing agency within 30 days of the hotel’s or motel’s receipt of the ruling, action, order, or notice requiring compliance with the regulation. This 30-day time period may be extended upon a showing of good cause.

Next Steps

Covered employers should:

  • Ensure current employees working in management, at the front desk or in registration, in janitorial or housekeeping services, or in security watch the training video available at the Department’s website.
  • Include the video as part of the hiring process for new employees working in management, at the front desk or in registration, in janitorial or housekeeping services, or in security.
  • Maintain a list of current employees who watched the video, identifying their names, positions, and the dates on which they watched the video.
  • File the Bureau of Housing Inspection’s certification form with the hotel’s or motel’s application for a certificate of inspection.

Hotels and motels with their own training mechanism in place may consider applying for an exception from compliance with the regulation.

Jackson Lewis attorneys are available to assist employers with this and other legal developments.

©2018 Jackson Lewis P.C. This material is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice nor does it create a client-lawyer relationship between Jackson Lewis and any recipient. Recipients should consult with counsel before taking any actions based on the information contained within this material. This material may be considered attorney advertising in some jurisdictions. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

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