TRENTON – Today, Governor Phil Murphy signed S2986 into law, which will require hotels with over 100 guest rooms to provide panic devices in order to protect hotel employees from violent acts, such as sexual assault and sexual harassment, while performing housekeeping duties.
“We must protect the safety of workers in the hospitality industry,” said Governor Murphy. “This new law will ensure that hotel employees performing their duties will have the means to summon immediate assistance if they are in danger.”
“We are invested in the safety of all New Jersey’s workers, and we applaud the Governor and the legislature for this innovative approach to ensuring no employee is put in a dangerous situation while simply in pursuit of a family-sustaining income,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo.
Primary sponsors of the bill include Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, Senator Linda Greenstein, and Assemblymembers John Armato, Vince Mazzeo, and Cleopatra Tucker.
“No one should ever have to work in fear,” said Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg. “The isolating nature of hotel employees servicing private rooms, puts them in a uniquely vulnerable position. A panic device to communicate to authorities outside of the room in the case of harassment and assault, will go a long way to ensuring their safety, security and workplace wellbeing.”
“Their line of work combines anonymity with seclusion and the risk of harassment and assault is a reality hotel workers face every day,” said Senator Linda Greenstein. “This law will give these employees a sense of safety most of us take for granted in our places of work and will empower them to protect themselves when in danger.”
“Hotel employees can often find themselves vulnerable when they enter hotel rooms for cleaning or other maintenance. Sometimes those rooms may be occupied, and they face the threat of assault or harassment,” said Assemblyman John Armato. “There are countless hotel employees in Atlantic City and across New Jersey who will benefit from carrying panic devices to give them greater peace of mind while on the job. All workers have the right to a safe and dignified work environment.”
“Everyone wants to feel safe while they’re at work. Ensuring that safety is one of our top priorities,” said Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo. “I’d like to thank the Hotel Local 54 union for raising their voices to support this legislation. This grassroots effort will hopefully translate to a safer workplace for all hotel employees.”
“Keeping workers safe is non-negotiable,” said Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker. “This measure will help ensure that these workers can earn a living in an environment where security is a priority and the necessary precautions are put into place.”