Hotel Staff Panic Button for the City of Oakland: Measure Z
Many cities and states have passed hotel panic button laws that require hotels to provide employees with safety devices for their protection while at work. Measure Z was passed by Oakland voters in November of 2018 and requires that Oakland hotels with 50 or more guest rooms or suites provide hotel employees with increased minimum wage, panic buttons and workload restrictions.
Effective July 1, 2019, City of Oakland’s Measure Z will become effective. It requires Oakland hotels with 50 or more guest rooms to provide hotel employees who work alone in guest rooms with panic buttons at no cost to the employee. These panic buttons will be used to report threatening or violent behavior and will alert the responsible party within the hotel to provide immediate help. The City of Oakland defines a hotel employee as someone who provides service in an Oakland hotel and who works an average of 5 hours per week for 4 weeks. The City of Oakland mandates that a panic button that simply makes a loud noise does not meet the requirements of the hotel workers protection law. Instead, the panic button must notify a designated monitor in the event of an emergency. In addition to nominating primary responders, the City of Oakland suggests that a company assign secondary responders for back-up reasons.
Date of Compliance
The deadline for the hotel panic button compliance was July 1, 2020. Hotels with 50 or more guest rooms must provide panic buttons to all hotel employees assigned to work in a guest room or bathroom without other employees present.
Hotel 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 an employee 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).