One only has to turn on the television or read the newspaper to see news story after news story reporting instances of women facing harassment, discrimination, or assault while at work. The “Me Too” and “Time’s Up” campaigns have brought many of these issues to the forefront and have shown that women are fighting to be respected and demanding equal treatment. Although this fight for equal protection is ongoing, many women, such as those in lower-paying service industries, are still unable to protect themselves from sexual harassment, discrimination, and assault, as they do not have the support or power to adequately report and protect themselves against the harassment. Over the years, a number of major cities and states (some even prior to the response from the hotel industry) implemented provisions in industry-wide hotel contracts or enacted laws to protect individuals working in their jurisdictions by requiring that hotels provide panic button devices to vulnerable employee groups to protect them while performing their duties. Additionally, many of these provisions also required that an anti-sexual harassment policy be effectuated to further educate and protect individuals in such positions. Although a few cities and states have enacted laws to protect certain vulnerable employees in the hotel industry from facing harassment and discrimination while on the job, until all states put such laws into effect, there is no national protection against such behavior. This Article discusses the need for state laws aimed at protecting hotel employees, specifically those in housekeeping or service attendant positions, from sexual harassment and assault while on the job. It discusses the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault incidents affecting hotel employees, specifically those working in isolated workspaces, and it addresses how the hospitality industry has attempted to address these issues by implementing its own protections. The Article goes on to examine the laws implemented in certain cities and states addressing this issue. Finally, the Article argues that all states should enact laws requiring that hotels provide panic devices to all vulnerable employees at their properties and implement anti-sexual harassment policies.
Kristy D'Angelo-Corker, Time to Panic! The Need for State Laws Mandating Panic Buttons and Anti-Sexual Harassment Policies to Protect Vulnerable Employees in the Hotel Industry, 44 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 229 (2021).
Civil Rights and Discrimination Commons, Common Law Commons, Criminal Law Commons, Jurisprudence Commons, Labor and Employment Law Commons, Law and Gender Commons, Law and Race Commons, Law and Society Commons, Legal Education Commons, Legislation Commons, State and Local Government Law Commons, Torts Commons