Seattle is one of the latest American cities to install panic buttons in major hotels in an effort to protect housekeepers and other staff members. Back in 2012, as part of the hotel union’s contract negotiation, the Hotel Association of New York approved panic buttons for all hotel workers entering occupied guest rooms. Hotel workers carry the portable devices throughout their day, allowing them to quickly summon help in the event of an attack. If panic buttons prove effective in reducing cases of assault and harassment of hotel workers, they could soon be ubiquitous in hotels and cities across the U.S.
Unions Push for Panic Buttons
Seattle’s local hospitality-workers’ union pushed for panic buttons in their hotels in an effort to protect some of the city’s most vulnerable workers: immigrant women. When phones are not readily accessible, hospitality workers have no immediate source of protection when entering occupied guest rooms. In New York, it was the New York Trades Council Union proposing panic buttons for hotel workers as part of contract negotiations back in 2012.
Panic Buttons in New York City
In New York City, panic buttons were installed in response to the arrest of a French politician for the sexual harassment and attempted sexual assault of a maid at a prominent city hotel. Though the charges were eventually dismissed, the case brought to light the pressing issue of the safety of maids and other hospitality employees. The hotel in question responded to the incident in part by issuing staff members panic buttons. Other New York City hotels soon followed suit, voluntarily providing panic buttons to staff members.
Harassment of Hotel Workers
So, just how pervasive is sexual harassment of maids and other hotel workers? In Seattle, a local newspaper asked 99 local housekeepers about guest behavior. More than half of the workers polled said they had been sexually harassed at some point by a guest or guests. The workers were prevented from leaving guest rooms by customers, flashed by guests, and sexually harassed. These statistics reflect similar data from other U.S. cities. Fifty-eight percent of hotel workers polled last fall reported being sexually harassed in Chicago, where legislation was recently proposed to give every hotel worker a panic button.
Middletown Sexual Harassment Lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. Fight for Vulnerable Employees
No employee should be afraid to speak out against sexual harassment on the job. Every worker in America should feel safe to perform their job, free from unwanted sexual requests or advances. Middletown sexual harassment lawyers at the law firm of McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C.. advocate for our nation’s most vulnerable workers. If you are the victim of sexual harassment or discrimination, but are afraid to speak out of fear of retaliation, an experienced Middletown sexual harassment lawyer is available to advocate on your behalf and lead you through the process of filing a complaint.
Call the Red Bank, New Jersey office of McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. to schedule a consultation today at 732-842-6500 or contact us online. McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. has locations in Red Bank, New Jersey and Marlton, New Jersey to serve clients throughout the state.