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

hotel maid
Photo: kadmy/iStockphoto

Washington — A total of 73 U.S. hotel companies have committed to the 5-Star Promise – a pledge to improve employee safety in the industry, including measures designed to prevent and respond to sexual harassment and assault – since its launch in September 2018, the American Hotel and Lodging Association has announced.

According to an Oct. 7 press release, the total represents a 230% increase from the 17 companies that were part of the initial pledge a year ago. The 73 organizations represent an estimated 20,000 hotel properties that employ an estimated 1.2 million workers.

As part of the 5-Star Promise, member organizations commit to enhancing policies, training and resources. 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.


Hotel companies in Chicago; Miami Beach, FL; New York; Seattle; and Washington, D.C., have already provided their employees with the devices, according to AHLA. The program has a goal of nationwide implementation by 2020.

The organizations also pledge 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 education and training 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.

“Hotels continually evaluate and evolve their policies, training and technologies to foster a safe environment and empower our employees,” AHLS President and CEO Chip Rogers said in the release. “I’m proud of the progress we have made as an industry over the past year.”

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