Armato & Mazzeo Bill to Provide Panic Devices to Hotel Staff Approved by Assembly Panel

Legislation Would Help Increase Safety for Hotel Employees

(TRENTON) – Aiming to better protect hotel employees against inappropriate conduct or assault, legislation sponsored by Assemblymen John Armato and Vince Mazzeo to equip hotel staff with portable panic devices was cleared on Thursday by the Assembly State and Local Government Committee.

“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 Armato (D-Atlantic). “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.”

The bill (A-4439) would require hotels with at least 100 guest rooms to equip all employees servicing guest rooms with portable emergency contact devices which can be quickly and easily activated to summon immediate on-scene assistance from a security officer, manager or supervisor, or other appropriate hotel staff member. Employers would supply the panic buttons at no cost to employees.

New Jersey would be the first in the nation to implement this legislation, following the lead of cities across the country.

“Everyone wants to feel safe while they’re at work. Ensuring that safety is one of our top priorities,” said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). “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.”

The bill now heads to the Assembly Speaker for further consideration.