According to a report in Hotel Management, hotel employees, particularly those in housekeeping departments, have faced safety concerns in recent years, and the industry is responding.
Many of the largest hotel companies in the industry, along with the American Hotel & Lodging Association, have pledged to improve safety conditions in hotels through investments in training and technology, starting with a plan to issue employee safety devices to workers as soon as possible.
Now, hotels and casinos in Illinois will be required to have anti-sexual harassment policies that include, for certain workers, access to a safety button or notification device that alerts security staff.
Signed into law on Aug. 9, the Hotel and Casino Employee Safety Act (S.B. 75) requires all employees working alone in guest rooms, restrooms or casino floors to be supplied with a safety or notification device at no cost to them.
It also prohibits employer retaliation against workers who use the device or disclose, report or testify about violations of the act.
According to Safety + Health, similar measures have been passed in New Jersey, New York, Chicago, and Seattle, and several major hotel chains have voluntarily pledged to make safety devices available to workers by 2020.
Erika Alexander, Chief Lodging Services Officer, the Americas at Marriott International, said Marriott is mandating electronic safety devices (ESDs) at more than 5,000 of its managed and franchised hotels in the U.S. and Canada by 2020.
Alexander says Marriott’s goal with the rollout is to ensure the company’s workers feel secure. In order to succeed, Alexander is ensuring that the devices work and that their use is recommended at all levels of operation.