August 3, 2017




BDI News & Tips


Illinois' Mandatory Human Trafficking Posters


A couple of years ago, the state of Illinois passed something called "The Illinois Human Trafficking Resources Center Notices Act" (Public Act 099-0099), which took effect January 1st, 2016. The impetus, according to the Illinois Legislature, was that human trafficking had become much more common and that victims of trafficking did not know where to turn for assistance and were often too intimidated to seek help.


The act requires specific businesses where immigrant labor is more frequently used to post notices informing the public and victims of human trafficking of telephone hotlines to seek help or report unlawful activity. Among these businesses are retail on-premises liquor licensees, farms, hospitals and urgent care facilities, as well as many transportation establishments - airports, bus and rail stations, and even truckstops.


There are specific guidelines regarding the details of the posting with respects to poster size, font size, area of placement and languages. It is the latter that is of note today. A state liquor control inspector recently pointed out to a few licensees that they were missing a required human trafficking poster in a third language.  Enforcement of this act seemingly falls under the Illinois Department of Labor, so it's unclear if an ILCC agent would even be within his jurisdiction to issue a fine, but that's a different topic altogether.


The act itself, linked above, and Illinois Department of Human Services' summary states (emphasis ours): 


"The specified business and other establishments must post the notice in English, Spanish and in one other language that is the most widely spoken language in the county where the establishment is located and for which translation is mandated by the federal Voting Rights Act, as applicable. This does not require a business or other establishment in a county where a language other than English or Spanish is the most widely spoken language to print the notice in more than one language in addition to English and Spanish." 


This part in bold seems to be the most overlooked as well as confusing caveat since the Act took effect. Do you know what the three most widely spoken languages in your county are?  I have no clue about my home county of Madison.  English and Spanish seem like locks for the top two spots, but then....?  


We have reached out to the Department of Human Services about a master list of third most common languages by county.  There probably is no such published list maintained, but we will update this on our website once we hear back. It seems others who have tried to ascertain the same question have more or less been told to print one of the posters in any 3rd language they desire.


Many owners and operators are no doubt anxious to avoid the potential fines ($500 for a first violation and $1000 for each subsequent offense) by hanging a poster in any third language.  Posters can be downloaded or printed here:



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