Las Vegas Hotel Panic Button Union Initiative
Many cities and states have passed hotel panic button laws in an effort to ensure the safety of hotel employees, in 2018 the Las Vegas chapters of UNITE HERE’s Culinary and Bartender Unions negotiated contracts with local hotels in an effort to equip hotel and casino employees with panic buttons.
A survey conducted by UNITE HERE’s Culinary and Bartender Unions of over 10,000 Las Vegas casino workers discovered the following:
59% of cocktail servers and 27% of hotel housekeepers said they had been sexually harassed by guests, managers or others while on the job.
72% of cocktail servers and 53% of hotel housekeepers said a guest had done something to make them feel uncomfortable or unsafe.
As a results of the survey and worker concerns, the Culinary and Bartenders Unions took steps to propose stronger safety protections in contract negotiations in 2018 for 50,000 workers in 34 casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip and in Downtown Las Vegas.
Date of Compliance
Two major casino companies, MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment Corporation, which respectively employ 24,000 and 12,000 union workers, (at Bally’s, Flamingo, Harrah’s, Paris, Planet Hollywood, Cromwell, The LINQ, Caesars Palace and The Rio, ARIA, Bellagio, Circus Circus, Excalibur, Luxor, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, Delano, Mirage, New York New York and Park MGM Resorts International MGM casinos) had already signed contracts in 2018 with the Culinary Union and implemented panic buttons for guest room attendants.
By 2019 nearly all Las Vegas housekeepers were equipped with critical panic button safety devices to ensure a safer work environment.
Panic Buttons – What to look for:
Marriott International Hotels
Marriott International, plans to provide employees in the U.S. and Canada with safety devices/panic buttons, with the goal to fully install and integrate by 2020.
Hilton has already implemented employee safety devices at numerous hotel locations and plan to deploy devices for all employees working in guestrooms at Hilton-managed properties in the U.S. by 2020. In addition, Hilton plans to include anti-harassment and anti-trafficking policies and training at all their properties.
Hyatt became one of the first hotel brands to issue safety devices to employee who work in guestrooms. This is a brand standard for Hyatt-managed full-service hotels in the U.S., and more than half of full-service franchise Hyatt hotels will implement safety devices to staff.
IHG has deployed safety devices to employees at numerous hotel locations within the U.S. and plan to fully implement safety devices at their managed hotels in the U.S. by 2020. As well as mandatory and enhanced workplace training for corporate and hotel employees in the U.S.
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts plan to deploy employee safety devices to all employees in the U.S. who are assigned to work alone in guestrooms. These devices will be provided to the employee at no cost. Wyndham also plans to roll out mandatory, annual anti-sexual harassment, discrimination, and human trafficking training for all employees.
Accor plans to equip employees who enter guestrooms and restrooms unaccompanied with safety devices by 2020. Accor also has a strict policy against sexual harassment and will also provide mandatory trainings to employees.
Best Western Hotels
Best Western branded hotels in the U.S. are required by the end of 2020 to provide employees with safety devices, at no cost to hotel employees who are assigned to work alone in hotel guestrooms or hotel areas. In addition, employees will be provided with training to identify and report sexual harassment.
Radisson Hotel Group
Radisson will deploy employee safety devices for hotel employees who work alone in guestrooms by 2020. Mandatory anti-sexual harassment policies and trainings will be provided to all employees.
Find a device that does not rely solely on hotel staff to support a worker who signals for help. Both silent and noise-producing panic buttons should be monitored by a number of on-site and remote staff AND a professional back office NOC.
When it comes to life safety, text alerts that can be silenced are not sufficient. Choose a vendor partner who provides a variety of media types with dedicated web apps that are always on, a physical computer station and/or an obvious visible/audible alert system.
Don’t settle for a device that stands completely outside the ecosystem of your current hotel operations. Have a back of house management system? Then choose a partner who has those integrations built-in. Want to run it off your hotel’s Wi-Fi? Find one that can work with your brand to provide fewer points of failure (no physical hub needed).