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SB 1193 & Civil Code Section 52.6 - Posting of Public Notices Regarding Slavery and Human Trafficking

Introduction

Human trafficking is a modern form of slavery. It involves controlling a person through force, fraud, or coercion to exploit the victim for forced labor, sexual exploitation, or both. Human trafficking strips victims of their freedom and violates our nation's promise that every person in the United States is guaranteed basic human rights. It is also a crime.

It is estimated that there are nearly 20.9 million human trafficking victims worldwide at any time. This 20.9 million includes 14.2 million victims of labor exploitation, 4.5 million victims of sexual exploitation, and 2.2 million victims of state imposed forced labor. The victims of human trafficking are often young girls and women. Young girls and women are 55% of the forced labor victims and 98% of sex trafficking victims.

The United States is widely regarded as a destination country for modern slavery. The U.S. Department of State estimates that 14,500 to 17,500 victims are trafficked into the United States each year. This figure does not include victims who are trafficked within the country each year.

Human trafficking is an estimated $32 billion-a-year global industry. After drug trafficking, human trafficking is the world’s second most profitable criminal enterprise, a status it shares with illegal arms trafficking. Like drug and arms trafficking, the United States is one of the top destination countries for trafficking in persons. California – a populous border state with a significant immigrant population and the world’s ninth largest economy – is one of the nation's top four destination states for trafficking human beings.

Human trafficking is often hidden in plain sight. Victims of human trafficking often do not know where to turn for assistance and can be too intimidated to ask for help. Senate Bill 1193 added Section 52.6 to the Civil Code. The law requires specified businesses and other establishments, as of April 1, 2013, to post a notice informing the public and victims of human trafficking of telephone hotline numbers to seek help or report unlawful activity. There are specific posting mandates, language requirements, and penalties for failure to post. The mandated notice is available on this website for downloading. Each mandated business is required to post the notice in English and Spanish. In addition, for businesses located in specific counties, a third language posting is required.

The mandated posting provides victims of human trafficking with essential information on where to obtain assistance. The posting also provides critical information to the public on how to report suspected human trafficking.

Summary of Public Notice Requirements

The following is a summary of the requirements set forth by Senate Bill 1193. This summary is not a regulation as defined by the California Administrative Procedure Act (Gov. Code § 11340.5) and does not constitute an agency interpretation of Civil Code § 52.6.

1. Who Must Post a Public Notice

Civil Code § 52.6 mandates that the following businesses post the notice:

  1. On-sale general public premises licensees under the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act (Division 9 (commencing with Section 23000) of the Business and Professions Code).
  2. Adult or sexually oriented businesses, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 318.5 of the Penal Code.
  3. Primary airports, as defined in Section 47102(16) of Title 49 of the United States Code.
  4. Intercity passenger rail or light rail stations
  5. Bus stations.
  6. Truck stops. For purposes of this section, "truck stop" means a privately owned and operated facility that provides food, fuel, shower or other sanitary facilities, and lawful overnight truck parking.
  7. Emergency rooms within general acute care hospitals.
  8. Urgent care centers.
  9. Farm labor contractors, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 1682 of the Labor Code.
  10. Privately operated job recruitment centers.
  11. Roadside rest areas.
  12. Businesses or establishments that offer massage or bodywork services for compensation and are not described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 4612 of the Business and Professions Code.

2. Where Must the Public Notice Be Posted

Civil Code § 52.6 requires that a specified business or other establishment must post the notice in a conspicuous place near the public entrance of the establishment or in another conspicuous location in clear view of the public and employees where similar notices are customarily posted.

3. What the Public Notice Must Say

Civil Code § 52.6 requires that the public notice to be posted must be at least 8.5 inches by 11 inches and written in size 16 font. Additionally, the public notice must state:

"If you or someone you know is being forced to engage in any activity and cannot leave -- whether it is commercial sex, housework, farm work, construction, factory, retail, or restaurant work, or any other activity -- call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888 or the California Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST) at 1-888-KEY-2-FRE(EDOM) or 1-888-539-2373 to access help and services. Victims of slavery and human trafficking are protected under United States and California law.

The hotlines are:

  • Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Toll-free.
  • Operated by nonprofit, nongovernmental organizations.
  • Anonymous and confidential.
  • Accessible in more than 160 languages.
  • Able to provide help, referral to services, training, and general information."

4. What Languages the Public Notices Must Contain

The specified businesses and other establishments must post the notice in English, Spanish, and in one other language that is the most widely spoken language in the business or establishment’s location (and for which translation is mandated by the Voting Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1973, et seq.). For those counties where a language other than English or Spanish is the most widely spoken language, Civil Code § 52.6 does not require the public notice to be printed in the non-English and non-Spanish language.

5. The Attorney General’s Model Public Notice

The Attorney General of California has developed a "model notice" available for download on the California Department of Justice's Internet website as of March 27, 2013. The model notice is available in English and Spanish. The Attorney General has also provided a list of counties in which a third language other than English and Spanish is the most widely spoken language.

6. Liability and Penalty for Failing to Post the Public Notice

Civil Code § 52.6(e) creates civil liability for a business or establishment that fails to comply with the posting requirement. The penalty for violating this law is $500 for a first offense and $1,000 for each subsequent offense.

If you have any questions on the Human Trafficking posting, please contact the California Attorney General's Office, Victims' Services Unit.

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