AAHOA Announces Anti-Trafficking Training in Florida

State's hoteliers face Jan. 1 deadline for mandated staff training

As Florida’s hotel owners face a January 1 deadline to comply with the state’s new human trafficking awareness training requirement, AAHOA is offering human trafficking prevention and awareness training for its Florida members and their employees. The AAHOA Human Trafficking Awareness Training (HTAT) Florida Compliance Series will help hoteliers satisfy the state’s mandatory training requirement. AAHOA is conducting a series of events at ten locations throughout Florida between December 14-18. The cities include Cocoa,

Ft. Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Tampa, Ocala, Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Daytona, and Orlando. AAHOA developed the training, which is available to all AAHOA members and their employees at no cost, in partnership with Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking (BEST).

Human trafficking awareness training is now mandatory under Section 509.096 of Florida Statutes for hospitality employees who work at the front desk or reception areas or perform housekeeping duties. Employees must complete a training approved by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation by January 1, 2021 or within 60 days of being hired at a property, whichever occurs later. The BEST Inhospitable to Human Trafficking Training sponsored by AAHOA is a DBPR-approved training.

“The hospitality industry is positioned to make a real impact in the fight against human trafficking. That’s why AAHOA is proud to partner with industry leaders such as BEST to empower America’s hoteliers and hospitality professionals with the knowledge to identify and respond to potential instances of trafficking at their hotels,” said AAHOA President & CEO Cecil P. Staton.

Even in these unprecedented times, AAHOA is proud to offer training opportunities to comply with state training requirements that prioritize attendee safety. The training events adhere to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 guidelines. Participants are required to wear masks and observe social distancing.

“As hotel owners, we have a moral imperative to ensure the safety of our guests and our employees. Understanding human trafficking is key to stopping it and potentially saving lives,” said AAHOA Chairman Biran Patel. “I am proud that AAHOA is leading the way to help its members educate themselves and their employees in the fight against this terrible crime.”