Sex Trafficking Prevention and Response Training for the Minnesota Lodging Industry - Minnesota Department of Health

Safe Harbor
Prevention and Response Training for the Minnesota Lodging Industry

Role of hotels and motels

Hotels and motels are common places for sex trafficking to happen. By learning the signs of sex trafficking, and how to respond, hotel and motel staff can help prevent sex trafficking and save lives.

Hotels and motels are key players in addressing sex trafficking in all Minnesota communities. Together, we can work to prevent sex trafficking. 

New for 2019: Materials are now available in Somali, Spanish and Hmong.

Training requirements

This training is required under Minnesota law.

To comply with the law:

  • All owners, managers, and on-site employees must complete the required training. There are few exceptions on who must take the training – see the statute for exemption details.
  • New employees must take this training within 90 days of hire.
  • All required staff must retake this training every year.
  • Display the required back of house poster. Place the poster in a location all staff will see it.
  • Conduct an ongoing awareness campaign for employees.

*Most of the training package is required for all hotels and motels in Minnesota. There are very few exceptions for only parts of the package. Please see Instructions within Managers/Owners Training Toolkit to see if an exception applies to you.

Access training materials

The request form will ask you a few questions about your hotel or motel and your role. Once you have completed the questions, you will be given a link to the Minnesota Hotel Training Package site to download the materials and instructions on providing the training. 

About this training

The training will take 40 minutes to complete. It may take longer for translated versions.

The Minnesota Hotel Training Package includes: 

  • A virtual presentation – a video with guided exercises
  • Training companion guide – to be used along with the virtual presentation
  • A owners/operators guide to complying with the law
  • Poster set
    • Back of House (required to display)
    • Housekeeping
    • Restaurant/Bar
    • Front desk/lobby
    • Security

This training was developed by the Minnesota Department of Health in partnership with the Minnesota Lodging Association.

Frequently Asked Questions

To view Frequently Asked Questions, click the link below.

Q: I already took training on sex trafficking. Do I still need to take this training?

A: Yes. You still need to complete the Sex Trafficking Prevention and Response Training for the Minnesota Lodging Industry. This training has been specially developed to address sex trafficking within Minnesota and meets the requirements of the Sex Trafficking Prevention Training legislation.

Q: Are resorts, bed and breakfasts, vacation shares or Airbnb required to provide the training?

A: Only if they hold a hotel license.

Q: Does the law apply to tribal nations?

A: No; however, MDH encourages tribal nations to provide the training and use the MDH materials.

Q: Are any employees exempt under the law from the training?

A: Yes, exempt employees include:

  1. Employees under 16 unless they clean rooms
  2. Employees who work exclusively in a restaurant, providing catering services, or both
  3. No direct contact with guests or guest rooms

However, MDH encourages training for all employees.

Q: What if I'm still not sure if I hold the correct license?

A: Contact the Food, Pool and Lodging section at MDH: health.foodlodging@state.mn.us or 651-201-4500.

Q: Does MDH charge a fee for the mandatory training package?

A: No.

Q: Does MDH assist with any costs of compliance with the law?

A: Aside from providing the free training package, MDH does not provide assistance such as with printing posters. The law states that licensees are required to pay the costs of compliance.

Q: Are the training materials available in other languages?

A: The MN Hotel Training Package is now offered in Spanish, Hmong and Somali in addition to English. If you have a need for materials in other languages, please contact Caroline Palmer (caroline.palmer@state.mn.us) or Beatriz Menanteau (beatriz.menanteau@state.mn.us).

Q: Do I have to give this training every year?

A: Yes. It is an annual requirement tied to licensure. Updates made to the package will be provided by November 1 of each year.

Q: Can we replace the MDH training with our own training materials?

A: No, it can't be replaced. In limited situations, a part may be replaced, but only with prior review and approval by MDH. MDH will provide an approval letter. However, the Minnesota-specific aspects of the MDH training must be delivered to employees.

Q: If a hotel owner, operator or manager does not have contact with guests, are they required to take the training?

A: Yes, they are still required to take the training. The exemptions in the laws for employees who do not have contact with guests do not apply to owners, operators and managers.

Q: Does the law exempt seasonal employees?

A: The law does not explicitly exempt seasonal employees, so if the licensed facility is covered the employees must receive the training. Seasonal employees should be trained within 90 days of when they start working.

Q: If an employee is temporary and only employed for two months, do they still need to complete the training, since their employment is less than 90 days?

A: Technically, no, but MDH encourages the training of all employees, particularly since other staff who are employed on a more permanent basis will need to be trained anyway.

Q: Are contracted workers, i.e., contracted cleaners, subject to the training?

A: Yes, they are still required to take the training.

Q: Are whole house vacation rental properties subject to compliance with the statute?

A: Yes. MDH licenses whole home vacation rentals as hotels/motels in most cases, subjecting them to following the statute.

Q: Once training of employees is completed, what is the next step?

A: Fill out a roster of names for all employees who completed the training, along with the date of completion. Simply keep this roster on file for your next inspection. You do not need to send the roster to MDH to check compliance.

Contact:

Contact Caroline Palmer at caroline.palmer@state.mn.us or 651-201-5492 or Beatriz Menanteau at beatriz.menanteau@state.mn.us or 651-201-4154.

Updated Monday, 06-Jan-2020 15:15:56 CST