Hotel Worker Panic Buttons Part Of Proposed Protections

Hotel workers would get panic buttons and other protections from sexual assaults under a new bill just introduced in the State Assembly.  

Assault and harassment is a problem that affects every industry, says Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, who tells News Radio KFBK it's a well-documented problem in the hotel business.  The Torrance Democrat says a poll of Chicago-area hotel workers finds 58% said they'd been sexually harassed by a guest and 49% said they had a guest answer the door naked or exposing themselves.

Muratsuchi says hotel employees are among the most vulnerable.  "A lot of these hotel employees, and especially the housekeepers, are working-class immigrants, many Latino and Asian," Muratsuchi says, "They often work alone in hotel rooms, sometimes with male guests, placing them at risk."

The bill would also require hotels to keep records of accusations against any guest for five years, ban them from staying there for three years and warn workers for another two years after that if they're assigned to a room with someone on the list.

Muratsuchi says it's a relatively low-cost option that shouldn't be too much of a burden for even smaller motel operators, but he says that's something they'll talk about as they hash out the bill in committee.

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