Protecting Hospitality Workers From Sexual Harassment

The Illinois Senate has approved legislation which is intended to protect hospitality workers from sexual harassment and assault.

The legislation (Senate Bill 75) requires hotels and casinos to have a sexual harsassment policy in place and a panic-type button available to workers who feel threatened.

“No one, no one, should feel unsafe in their working environment, period,” said bill sponsor, Sen. Ram Villivalum of Chicago. “I am so honored by the fact that we were able to have this discussion and bring everyone to the table and address this issue.”

The legislation now moves to the House where it is sponsored by Rep. Bob Morgan of Deerfield.

“We only have so many opportunities to dramatically improve the safety of those who are working in such important areas of our workforce. And this is one of those bills,” Morgan said.

Villivalum said similar measures have been adopted in Chicago, Seattle, New York City and Miami Beach. Additionally, a number of hotel operators have voluntarily pledged to roll out safety buttons by 2020, including Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts and InterContinental Hotels Group.

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