Louisiana hotels will soon be required to display a new poster publicizing the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline.  The new poster obligation becomes effective on August 1. 2016.

Louisiana law currently requires certain business establishments to post information regarding the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline. Under current law, massage parlors, strip clubs and sexually-oriented businesses, outpatient abortion facilities, and gas stations near an interstate highway or rest stop are required to display a poster featuring the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline. Louisiana Act 298 adds certain hotels in Louisiana to this list of businesses.

Under the new law, a  “hotel” is “any establishment, both public and private, engaged in the business of furnishing or providing rooms and overnight camping facilities intended or designed for dwelling, lodging, or sleeping purposes to transient guests.” For purposes of this statute, “hotel” excludes bed and breakfasts with no more than 10 guestrooms and camp and/or retreat facilities owned and operated by nonprofit organizations exempt from federal income tax under sections 501(a) and 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, so long as the net revenue from the camp or retreat is devoted wholly to the nonprofit organization’s purposes.

Covered hotels must display the poster in the same location where employee notices required by federal and state law are posted. The posting shall be no smaller than 8 ½ inches by 11 inches and shall contain the following wording in bold-typed print of not less than 14-point font: “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, or any other activity, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline at 1-888-373-7888 to access help and services.”

The model poster will be made available by the Louisiana Department of Revenue and the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control. Those agencies will also be charged with enforcing the poster obligation. A hotel that violates this new requirement may be subject to civil fines ranging from $50 to $2,500 per violation and may have its state alcohol permit suspended or revoked.