BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    






                 Senate Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations
                               Mark DeSaulnier, Chair

          Date of Hearing: April 14, 2010              2009-2010 Regular  
          Session                              
          Consultant: Alma Perez                       Fiscal:Yes
                                                       Urgency: No
          
                                  Bill No: SB 1230
                                 Author: DeSaulnier
                          Version: As amended April 7, 2010
          

                                       SUBJECT
          
                          Employment: posting requirements.


                                      KEY ISSUE

          Should the Legislature require employers to post information  
          related to slavery and human trafficking at their worksites? 
          

                                       PURPOSE
          
          To require the workplace posting of two toll-free anti-human  
          trafficking hotlines that provide services in support of the  
          elimination of slavery and human trafficking. 


                                      ANALYSIS
          
           Under existing law  , both state and federal, employers must meet  
          workplace posting obligations.  
          Existing state law requires California employers to post a  
          variety of employment-related information for employees,  
          including information relating to the payment of wages, hours  
          and working conditions, workers' compensation, and  
          discrimination in employment.  Workplace postings are usually  
          available at no cost from the requiring agency.  Employers are  
          required to conspicuously display the various posters in an area  
          frequented by employees where it may be easily read during the  
          workday.  Additional posting requirements apply to some  
          workplaces. 










           Existing law  also requires employers to provide specified  
          posters in various languages. Failure to comply with workplace  
          posting requirements is a misdemeanor and may be punishable by a  
          fine, imprisonment, or both.  Each employer is required to take  
          necessary steps to insure that notices are not altered, defaced  
          or covered by other material.

           Existing state law  makes human trafficking a crime and allows a  
          victim of human trafficking to bring a civil action for actual  
          damages, compensatory damages, punitive damages, injunctive  
          relief, any combination of those, or any other appropriate  
          relief.  Under the existing Victims of Trafficking and Violence  
          Protection Act of 2000, the federal law acknowledges the crime  
          of human trafficking, and delineates various federal actions to  
          combat trafficking, punish perpetrators, and provides services  
          to victims of trafficking. 
           

          This Bill  would require employers to post information related to  
          slavery and human trafficking, including information related to  
          two toll-free anti-human trafficking hotlines that provide  
          services in support of the elimination of slavery and human  
          trafficking.  

          Specifically, this bill would require:
                 The posting of the National Human Trafficking Resource  
               Center Hotline and the California Coalition to Abolish  
               Slavery and Trafficking hotline.  
                 The Labor Commissioner to determine in what languages  
               the notice should be printed.
                 The Labor Commissioner to enforce the requirements of  
               this bill. 


                                      COMMENTS

          
          1.  Background on Human Trafficking:

            Human trafficking is an unfortunate widespread form of  
            modern-day slavery and is one of the fastest growing criminal  
            industries in the world.  Human trafficking involves the  
          Hearing Date:  April 14, 2010                            SB 1230  
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            recruitment, harboring, and/or transportation of people for  
            the purpose of forced or coerced labor. Through violence,  
            threats and coercion, these victims are forced to work in,  
            among other things, the sex trade, domestic labor, factories,  
            hotels, and agriculture. Every year, human traffickers  
            generate billions of dollars by exploiting those seeking to  
            cross international borders in search of a better life as well  
            as those vulnerable within the United States.  Detecting human  
            trafficking is difficult as this crime thrives in secrecy and  
            on the social and physical isolation of its victims.  

            According to the U.S. Department of State, there is a wide  
            range of estimates that exist on the scope and magnitude of  
            modern-day slavery. The International Labor Organization  
            (ILO), which is the United Nations agency charged with  
            addressing labor standards, employment, and social protection  
            issues, estimates that there are at least 12.3 million adults  
            and children in forced labor, bonded labor, and commercial  
            sexual servitude at any given time. Of these victims, the ILO  
            estimates that 56 percent are women and girls.

            The passage of the federal Victims of Trafficking and Violence  
            Protection Act of 2000, as well as the United Nations Palermo  
            Protocol, has helped to increase the awareness of human  
            trafficking at the international level.  In 2005, the  
            Legislature enacted the California Trafficking Victims  
            Protection Act, AB 22 (Lieber) Chapter 240, which established  
            civil and criminal penalties for human trafficking and allowed  
            for forfeiture of assets derived from human trafficking.  Also  
            in 2005, SB 180 by Senator Sheila Kuehl (Chapter 239)  
            established the California Alliance to Combat Trafficking and  
            Slavery (California ACTS) Task Force charged with conducting a  
            thorough review of California's response to human trafficking  
            and to report its finding to the Governor, Attorney General,  
            and the Legislature.  In October 2007, the California  
            Department of Justice released the final report produced by  
            the California ACTS Task Force entitled "Human Trafficking in  
            California," which contained a comprehensive list of findings  
            and recommendations to combat human trafficking.  

            In December 2009, this Committee held a joint informational  
            hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee entitled,  
          Hearing Date:  April 14, 2010                            SB 1230  
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            "Everyone's Business: California's Role in Combating Human  
            Rights Violations in Product Supply Chains."  The hearing  
            focused on the demand for cheap products and what could be  
            done in California to address problems with goods in our  
            supply chains that have been developed using forced or  
            exploited labor.  As testimony at the hearing revealed, the  
            extent of the problem of human trafficking is massive.  There  
            are now several pieces of legislation in California, including  
            this one, arising from awareness raised at that hearing.  

          2.  Need for this bill?

            Human trafficking is a problem that affects the lives of an  
            estimated 12.3 million adults worldwide.  Because human  
            trafficking deprives people of freedom in every part of the  
            world, it is a serious threat to human rights.  This problem  
            also threatens public health and the very safety and security  
            of nations.  The Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in  
            Persons (G/TIP), under the U.S. Department of State and led by  
            Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, provides tools to combat trafficking  
            in persons and assists in the coordination of anti-trafficking  
            efforts both worldwide and domestically.  

            In the United States, there are several toll-free anti-human  
            trafficking hotlines available and ready to respond to human  
            trafficking tips, training requests and questions on  
            anti-human trafficking resources.    On their website, the  
            U.S. Department of State directs individuals to report a  
            trafficking victim or anti-trafficking information by calling  
            a toll-free hotline (1 (888) 373-7888) that is operated by the  
            National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC).  This  
            toll-free hotline is funded primarily by the U.S. Department  
            of Health and Human Services (HHS).  This bill would require  
            the posting by employers of this national toll-free hotline,  
            in addition to a California specific hotline, at places of  
            employment.

           3.  Efforts in other States:
           
            Similar efforts to require the posting of human trafficking  
            and hotline information have been enacted in other states in  
            recent years.  In 2007, the Texas Legislature enacted laws  
          Hearing Date:  April 14, 2010                            SB 1230  
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            that resulted in the mandatory posting of the National Human  
            Trafficking Resource Center hotline.  According to the NHTRC,  
            the hotline has consistently received more calls from Texas  
            than any other state.  The NHTRC has referred the high volume  
            of tips to local entities in Texas resulting in increased  
            services to victims.  Several states, including Oregon,  
            Maryland, Washington and others, are considering similar  
            efforts to help combat human trafficking.  

          4.  Suggested Amendments  :
            
            Committee staff has received several calls from organizations  
            throughout different parts of the state offering information  
            on their work and efforts to rescue and restore victims of  
            trafficking.  There are many organizations doing good work to  
            help address this terrible problem, and many of these also run  
            toll-free anti-human trafficking hotlines.  Requiring  
            employers to post the hotline information of the many  
            organizations that run a line is unfeasible.  

            The Committee suggests that the author consider amending this  
            bill to require the posting of  only  the national toll-free  
            hotline run by the National Human Trafficking Resource Center  
            (NHTRC) in order to address this concern.  In addition, the  
            author may wish to consider an amendment to emphasize that the  
            requirements of this bill can be met by the employer when  
            he/she has to next update his/her workplace postings. 

          5.  Proponent Arguments  :
            
            According to proponents of the measure, the problem of human  
            trafficking is a much larger and more global issue than most  
            people grasp.  According to the US Department of Health and  
            Human Services - after drug trafficking, human trafficking is  
            tied with the illegal arms industry as the second largest  
            criminal industry in the world today, and it is the fastest  
            growing.  According to proponents, experience in the field has  
            demonstrated that one of the best tools to combat human  
            trafficking is raising public awareness of the problem.   
            Proponents believe that this bill not only provides an  
            opportunity for many people to become aware of the issue  
            through employer signage, but provides a tool for action by  
          Hearing Date:  April 14, 2010                            SB 1230  
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            providing specific information about the hotlines.  

            Proponents also argue that in this globalized economy, the  
            race to the bottom is visible as free trade policies have  
            allowed corporations to jump from country to country in search  
            of the cheapest labor and least regulation.  Proponents argue  
            that products are produced throughout the globe using forced  
            labor, child labor, indentured servitude, and other abusive  
            conditions.  Even right here in California, they assert, the  
            underground economy thrives on wage theft, many domestic  
            workers are the victims of trafficking, and many workplaces  
            are sweatshops without the most basic worker protections.  
            Proponents argue that while the state of California cannot  
            always eradicate such labor conditions, it should provide  
            information to workers of their rights and protections  
            afforded them under the law in regard to human trafficking.  

            According to the author, while federal and state law  
            enforcement works to investigate the criminal networks  
            involved in human trafficking, local and state police and  
            community members, including neighbors, healthcare workers,  
            teachers, and shop keepers, among others, are most often in  
            the best position to recognize and report possible instances  
            of human trafficking. The author believes that the human  
            trafficking hotlines currently available to assist victims are  
            the most centralized outlet to process and respond to calls  
            for help. In addition, proponents argue that high visibility  
            and awareness of human trafficking hotlines gives workers the  
            resources they need to expose violations of the law, while at  
            the same time increasing the chances that potential human  
            trafficking will be reported, and that human traffickers will  
            be stopped. 

          6.  Opponent Arguments  :

            None received to date.


                                       SUPPORT
          
          California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO 
          Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking (CAST) 
          Hearing Date:  April 14, 2010                            SB 1230  
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          Polaris Project
          

                                     OPPOSITION
          
          None received to date.


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          Hearing Date:  April 14, 2010                            SB 1230  
          Consultant: Alma Perez                                   Page 7

          Senate Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations