State Mandates Panic Buttons For Hotel Workers
The housekeepers of New Jersey scored a big win last week when the state voted to require most hotels to give their workers portable panic buttons for use in an emergency, such as an assault or sexual harassment.
Several unions and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy say New Jersey is the first state to officially require wearable panic buttons, reports NBC News. Other states, according to the report, are working on measures.
In April it was reported by ISSA that Washington state passed a bill requiring businesses to provide isolated workers (such as janitors, security guards and housekeepers) with a panic button. In addition to providing a panic button, those who have isolated workers also have to enforce mandatory sexual harassment training, register all workers with the state and create a sexual harassment policy.
Only hotels with more than 100 rooms will be subject to the bill in New Jersey, which will go into effect in January 2020. Hotels and motels in Washington with more than 60 rooms must adhere to the rules by the first of the year.
Despite a relatively quick implementation of the panic button rule, some hotel chains have plans to make the change even before requirements are instituted. Both Marriott and Hilton have announced plans to provide the devices to their workers without being forced to by government.
There are a number of groups working to stop sexual harassment at the workplace. Time’s Up, for example, was announced in 2018 as an initiative that wants to combat sexual harassment and assault, specifically for those that are most vulnerable. The effort cites these people as being women who are undocumented or are working in janitorial services, agriculture and garment factories.
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