Could your Business Face a Fine for Not Displaying a Posting about Sex Trafficking?
If your business operates facilities that are open to the public, then there is a chance that you may be required to display a posting regarding human trafficking, also referred to as sex trafficking. Failure to do so, when required, may result in the potential for significant fines to your business.
Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery where people profit from the control and exploitation of others. As defined under U.S. federal law, victims of human trafficking include children involved in the sex trade, adults age 18 or over who are coerced or deceived into commercial sex acts, and anyone forced into different forms of “labor or services,” such as domestic workers held in a home, or farm-workers forced to labor against their will. Examples of sex trafficking include prostitution, pornography, stripping, exotic massage, and escort services.
According to the Polaris Project, a leading organization in the global fight against human trafficking and modern-day slavery, 39 states passed new laws to fight human trafficking in the past year. Georgia became one of the latest states to do so after the FBI named Atlanta as one of 14 cities in the nation with the highest rates of children being exploited for prostitution
As an example, the Georgia law requires certain businesses to display postings containing information that could help victims of sex trafficking. The Georgia posting requirement, which went into effect on September 15, 2013, applies to facilities that include:
- Emergency rooms with acute care hospitals
- Privately operated job recruitment centers
- Safety rest areas located along interstates
- Businesses that offer massage or bodywork services by persons that are not licensed massage therapists
For purposes of the Georgia act, a “bar” means an establishment that is devoted to the serving of alcoholic beverages for consumption by guests on the premises and in which the serving of food is only incidental to the consumption of those beverages, including, but not limited to, taverns, nightclubs, cocktail lounges, and cabarets. The law requires these and other covered establishments to display a posting that meets certain requirements. A model posting for covered Georgia facilities is available at:
If you have any questions about the state laws and posting requirements for the states in which your business operates public facilities, please respond to this email or contact your Elarbee Thompson attorney.