Keeping Hotel Housekeepers Safe: New Jersey Becomes First State to Require Panic Buttons
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
When you come back to a hotel room that’s been meticulously cleaned, you might not think much about the housekeepers responsible for tidying up. But they are some of the most vulnerable workers in the hospitality industry.
Unfortunately, stories of guests sexually harassing housekeepers are all too common, and often go unreported. Fortunately, there is something hotel management can do.
On Tuesday, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill requiring hotels with more than 100 rooms to provide panic buttons for housekeepers to wear. The small devices can be concealed in a pocket and will summon hotel security if pushed. The bill will take effect in January of 2020 and will apply to all nine casinos in Atlantic City, not to mention countless other hotels across the state.
New Jersey is the first state to pass such a bill, though similar legislation is being considered in Florida, Illinois and the state of Washington.
“Today, the lawmakers in New Jersey stood up with my coworkers and I to say no more to guests exposing themselves to us, soliciting us for sex and allowing us to be unsafe as we open the door to a guest room, with no idea what is waiting for us behind it,” Iris Sanchez, a housekeeper at Caesars, told Fox News. “It’s great knowing I’ll be able to come home safe at the end of my shift. I can do my job without being worried.”
Some brands already use panic buttons without it being required by law. According to Reuters, Hilton and Marriott announced last year that they would make alert devices a new standard across their portfolio of hotels by 2020.
“No one should ever be fearful doing their job, least of all associates on-property who are so vital to the success of our company and our industry,” Arne Sorenson, president and CEO of Marriott International said in a statement last year. “The safety of everyone at our properties is always a top priority as is deterring and combatting harassment of any kind. I’m deeply proud to say our entire industry is unified around these important goals.”
Here’s hoping more hotel brands — and states — will follow suit.
Featured photo by djedzura / Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,600
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.