How Panic Button Laws in Oakland Are Making an Impact

by Iakjot Kaur, on Jun 3, 2024 9:45:00 AM

A study done by Unite Here showed that 58% of hotel workers and 77% of casino workers surveyed have been sexually harassed by a guest. This study, highlighting the hotel industry’s serious issue with high rates of harassment, is one of the reasons that cities, states and hotel brands nationwide have been working hard to prioritize safety.

California is one of the states committed to creating a safer workplace. Many California cities have approved a 'hotel worker protection ordinance' that provides a panic button to employees. Those cities with effective ordinances are:

  • Anaheim
  • Glendale
  • Irvine
  • Long Beach
  • Los Angeles
  • Oakland
  • Sacramento
  • Santa Monica
  • West Hollywood

This article will cover Oakland's comprehensive panic button legislation and how it impacts hotels. To view a comprehensive guide covering compliance details for other cities and states in the United States, click here.


On July 1, 2019, Oakland enacted “Measure Z”. It requires Oakland hotels with 50 or more guest rooms to provide employees who work alone in guest rooms with a panic button to report an ongoing crime, threat or other emergency.

Outline of Hotel Employer Responsibilities

Oakland hotels must provide personal security devices while complying with other safety measures to protect their employees from potential harm.

Oakland’s panic button laws require:

  • Hotels with 50 or more guest rooms must provide hotel employees who work alone in guest rooms with panic buttons at no cost to the employee.
  • The panic button must notify a designated responder in the event of an emergency.
  • Hotels cannot take disciplinary actions against employees for activating panic buttons unless clear and convincing evidence exists that employees knowingly made a false report.

What Features Should Your Panic Buttons Have?

As laws to protect hotel employees come into effect, the market has witnessed an increase in panic buttons. The large number of options available may be considered overwhelming. It is crucial to select a device that aligns with the needs of your employees and hotel. While searching, keep these essential features in mind:

  • The panic button must be easy to use. 
  • The device should be comfortable for the employees.
  • The device should be discreet when the employee is wearing it.
    • The device should be able to discreetly reach all staff including managers, supervisors, and security within seconds.

Keep Your Team Protected with React Mobile’s Panic Button Solutions

Hotel workers are becoming increasingly vocal as they ask for change through legislation and through brand safety mandates. If you fail to comply your hotel may be at risk for fines and potentially worker-led strikes, boycotts, etc.

In Oakland, and across the country, it is crucial to protect your staff especially when they are working independently. At React Mobile, our devices offer a range of real-time location monitoring and quick alert activation, providing the utmost peace of mind for both your employees and management.

Our team is committed to providing you with the help and resources needed to guarantee the success of your panic button implementation. Book a free demo with us today and take the first step towards a safer workplace:

Topics:Panic ButtonsCalifornia