New Jersey has just passed a bill requiring hotels with 100 or more rooms to provide cleaners and employees with a panic button for emergency situations. It is the first state in the nation to do so. The move follows last year’s major Marriott worker strike that affected hotels in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York and numerous other major cities in the United States. Workers cited higher wages, better benefits and greater protection against harassment among their demands.
The law takes effect in January and is thought to help prevent sexual harassment. The wearable panic buttons will allow workers to immediately alert hotel security for assistance, emitting a loud noise to alert others to the employee’s location, reports KCRA Sacramento.
While New Jersey is the first state to mandate government-level protection, Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt and Wyndham Resorts hotel chains have announced that they will provide workers with a personal alert system. Other statewide laws are under consideration in Florida, Illinois and Washington state, according to NBC News.
“I am proud to sign panic button legislation to give hotel workers security and the ability to immediately call for help should they need it,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said while signing the bill. Hotel employees from nine major Atlantic City casinos were also in attendance.