Santa Monica Hotel Panic Buttons Legislation
As outline previously, other cities in California, as well as numerous other states, have complied with local legislation aimed to preserve the safety of hotel workers. Following suit, the City of Santa Monica is requiring all hotel employers provide hotel staff with panic buttons as of January 1, 2020. These regulations apply regardless of the size of the hotel. Given that tourism is a major contributor to Santa Monica’s economy, the safety of hospitality staff is highly important. The city recognizes that hotel staff are often in a position to identify and react to instances of violence, harassment, and other crimes. Therefore, employee need to be equipped with safety devices that notifies others, in the event they witness or are subjected to a crime or to prevent activities that may jeopardize the experience of both guests and staff. Hotel employers are obligated to assign a security guard, manager, or supervisory hotel staff personnel to provide immediate assistance if an emergency is signaled. Employers cannot exhibit adverse behavior if a panic button is activated in reasonable circumstances and panic button devices must be provided free of cost to employees.
Date of Compliance
The ordinance took effect on January 1, 2020. Hotels must provide employees assigned to work in guest room or rest rooms with safety devices to prevent sexual violence or threatening behavior.
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 employees to support a worker who signals for assistance. 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).