Hospitality workers in California are lobbying for greater protections from guest harassment and assault.
Community labor group Stand With Women Against Abuse says that 8 out of 10 hotel housekeepers have been the victims of verbal aggression orharassment. The problem is so bad that New York City instituted a system of panic buttons for housekeeping workers in 2012, which allow employees to silently signal for help when they find themselves in a dangerous situation. The California proposal would only affect unionized hotels.
The proposal in California would require security to respond within three minutes of getting a panic signal, and force employers to reassign workers who have been assaulted to other parts of the property. But the proposal goes beyond safety, also enacting limitations that will prevent overwork. The rules would limit workers to 4,000 or 12 rooms, and any more than that would be compensated with overtime pay.
Stand with Women says the two factors-overwork and harassment-are connected. Workers say that because they are so pressured to meet higher and higher quotas for cleaning, many skip bathroom breaks or come in early to set up their carts. This pressure means workers aren’t able to be as cautious and pay as close attention as they should to potential threats. The pressure also means workers don’t have them time they need out of the day to go make a report or talk to their boss.
The proposal would only affect unionized hotels. As a result, it’s causing more housekeepers to consider unionizing to protect their safety and ensure favorable workplace conditions.
If you have been the target of workplace harassment, discrimination or unfair termination, Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. represents clients in federal court and before the EEOC, MSPB and in state and union grievance hearings.
Our attorneys have more than 40 years dedicated to giving clients the attention, advice, support and empowerment they need to effectively meet their goals. We are committed to the principle that all persons shall have equal justice under the law. Call Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. at 304.523.8451 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.