Accommodations/food service

‘5-Star Promise’: Hotel companies, industry association pledge to improve worker safety

hotel maid
Photo: kadmy/iStockphoto

Washington — The American Hotel and Lodging Association and five major corporations have announced their commitment to improve employee safety in the industry, including measures designed to prevent and respond to sexual harassment and assault.

As part of the membership’s 5-Star Promise, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, Marriott and Wyndham have committed to enhancing policies, training and resources, a Sept. 6 press release from AHLA states. One of the most notable steps is providing hotel workers with portable panic buttons.

Options for the safety devices include emitting loud noises or coming equipped with emergency GPS tracking, allowing employees to alert other personnel when in danger. “AHLA has convened a sourcing task force to assist companies in identifying the appropriate technology for their respective properties,” with the goal of having broad implementation by the end of 2020, the release states.

The organizations also pledge to:

  • Continue to provide industrywide training and materials on safety and security matters, and retain expert guidance to work with AHLA and its members on workplace diversity and safety matters.
  • Ensure mandatory anti-sexual harassment policies are in place in multiple languages.
  • Provide ongoing employee training and education on identifying and reporting sexual harassment.
  • Broaden vital partnerships with wide-ranging national organizations that target sexual violence, assault and trafficking, as well as promote workplace safety, including the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, End Child Prostitution and Trafficking, and Polaris.

“I applaud the hotel industry for taking the initiative and continuing to put employee safety first, recognizing that all people should feel safe while doing their jobs,” Tina Tchen, co-founder of the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund and partner at Buckley Sandler LLP, said in the release. “This is an important step that we hope will lead to more industries taking a stand and committing to employee and guest safety. I look forward to continuing to work with AHLA, along with experts and advocates, to ensure hotels are safe and welcoming for everyone.”

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