Washington Hospitality Association supports panic buttons for workers’ protection

Afrikaans Afrikaans Albanian Albanian Amharic Amharic Arabic Arabic Armenian Armenian Azerbaijani Azerbaijani Basque Basque Belarusian Belarusian Bengali Bengali Bosnian Bosnian Bulgarian Bulgarian Catalan Catalan Cebuano Cebuano Chichewa Chichewa Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Traditional) Chinese (Traditional) Corsican Corsican Croatian Croatian Czech Czech Danish Danish Dutch Dutch English English Esperanto Esperanto Estonian Estonian Filipino Filipino Finnish Finnish French French Frisian Frisian Galician Galician Georgian Georgian German German Greek Greek Gujarati Gujarati Haitian Creole Haitian Creole Hausa Hausa Hawaiian Hawaiian Hebrew Hebrew Hindi Hindi Hmong Hmong Hungarian Hungarian Icelandic Icelandic Igbo Igbo Indonesian Indonesian Irish Irish Italian Italian Japanese Japanese Javanese Javanese Kannada Kannada Kazakh Kazakh Khmer Khmer Korean Korean Kurdish (Kurmanji) Kurdish (Kurmanji) Kyrgyz Kyrgyz Lao Lao Latin Latin Latvian Latvian Lithuanian Lithuanian Luxembourgish Luxembourgish Macedonian Macedonian Malagasy Malagasy Malay Malay Malayalam Malayalam Maltese Maltese Maori Maori Marathi Marathi Mongolian Mongolian Myanmar (Burmese) Myanmar (Burmese) Nepali Nepali Norwegian Norwegian Pashto Pashto Persian Persian Polish Polish Portuguese Portuguese Punjabi Punjabi Romanian Romanian Russian Russian Samoan Samoan Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic Serbian Serbian Sesotho Sesotho Shona Shona Sindhi Sindhi Sinhala Sinhala Slovak Slovak Slovenian Slovenian Somali Somali Spanish Spanish Sudanese Sudanese Swahili Swahili Swedish Swedish Tajik Tajik Tamil Tamil Telugu Telugu Thai Thai Turkish Turkish Ukrainian Ukrainian Urdu Urdu Uzbek Uzbek Vietnamese Vietnamese Welsh Welsh Xhosa Xhosa Yiddish Yiddish Yoruba Yoruba Zulu Zulu
0a1a-158

The safety and security of employees is a top priority for the hospitality industry, which is why the Washington Hospitality Association testified in enthusiastic support of the subject of Senate Bill 5258, a bill created to prevent sexual harassment and sexual assault of certain isolated workers and providing panic buttons.

“We are just as passionate about our team members as we are any other part of our business, and their health and safety is essential,” said Anthony Anton, Washington Hospitality Association president and CEO. “How do we take employee protection to the next level? By providing training, adopting policies and procedures and supporting the use of safety devices.”

Senate Bill 5258 would require that every hospitality employer: adopt a sexual harassment policy, provide mandatory sexual harassment prevention training to all employees, provide a list of resources employees may use and provide a panic button to each isolated worker.

“I am thrilled that the Washington Hospitality Association has agreed to support my bill to protect isolated workers from sexual harassment or assault,” said the bill’s prime sponsor and chair of the Washington State Senate Labor and Commerce Committee, Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Des Moines. “A significant portion of the hospitality industry has taken real leadership to provide safety devices for individual employees.”

If passed during the 2019 Legislative Session, Washington state would lead the nation with this type of bill. Similar measures singling out hotel workers and providing them with safety devices and increased training have passed in local jurisdictions across the United States, however, Washington would be one of the first states with the expanded protections for other types of employees who work independently.

The increased awareness of employee safety aligns with the 5-Star Promise, a pledge led by the American Hotel & Lodging Association and 17 large, national hotel brands. The 5-Star Promise is a pledge to hotel employees across the U.S. to expand implementation of employee safety devices by 2020 and a commitment to enhanced policies, trainings and resources that increase hotel safety, including the prevention and response to sexual harassment and assault.

As longstanding supporters of providing safety devices to hotel employees, the Seattle Hotel Association also testified alongside the Washington Hospitality Association.

“The Seattle Hotel Association supports the use of panic buttons,” said Shannon Sheron, Managing Director, Hotel Sorrento and president of the Seattle Hotel Association. “Many of our hotels have had them in place for years and will continue to do so, as part of our vigorous commitment to employee safety. We are proud to support this bill.”
Senate Bill 5258 was heard in the Senate Labor & Commerce committee on Monday and will need to clear additional legislative hurdles before becoming law.