The State of California Panic Button Legislation for Hotels and Casinos

by Linaeya Horn-Muller, on May 6, 2024 9:30:00 AM

When working alone in a guest room in a hotel or casino, a hotel worker becomes vulnerable to threatening behavior and even sexual assault. The hospitality industry recognizes that hotel workers need better safety measures, and one leading response was to provide personal panic button devices.

 

DISCLAIMER: THE INFORMATION PROVIDED ON THIS GUIDE DOES NOT, AND IS NOT INTENDED TO, CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE; INSTEAD, ALL INFORMATION, CONTENT, AND MATERIALS AVAILABLE ON THIS GUIDE ARE FOR GENERAL INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. 

 

In the State of California, there is an Assembly Bill (AB-1761 Employee safety: hotel workers) which intends to amend the law and add to the Labor Code to include providing employees working alone in a guest room with a panic button and additional compliances. The status of AB-1761 was reviewed by the committee in 2018 and since has taken no action. It is possible in the future that a similar Assembly Bill will be presented again and voted upon for employee panic buttons to be a state-level mandate.

 

At the city level, many major cities in California have already passed legislation requiring hotels and casinos to provide panic buttons to employees who work alone. The following cities are:

 

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

Over the last few years each city passed an ordinance that improves hotel workers’ protection and safety. Each city’s legislative compliance requirement varies slightly. Still, all of them require hotel employers to provide their workers who work alone with a panic button device to summon help to their location when it’s activated. Noise-makers, such as whistles and alarm bells, do not qualify under the panic button requirement. 

 

Summary of California Cities Panic Button Legislation Definition

For each city, the language used to describe a panic button in the legislation is similar, but some vary slightly. Some cities have a long detailed description of a “panic button” (i.e., personal safety device, emergency contact device), whereas others have a shorter version. 

 

Anaheim, CA

A portable security devices for use in guest-rooms and restrooms. Operators must instruct staff on device usage and response procedures for threatening situations. Learn more.

 

Glendale, CA

A portable emergency contact device, including but not limited to a panic button, that is designed so that a hotel worker can quickly and easily activate such device to directly contact a hotel security officer, manager, or supervisory hotel staff member designated by a hotel employer to respond to violent or threatening conduct and promptly summon them to the hotel worker’s location. Learn more.

 

Irvine, CA

A personal security device that supports hotel workers in their ability to report criminal and threatening behavior to the proper authorities.

 

Long Beach, CA

An emergency electronic contact device carried by a hotel employee by which the hotel employee may summon immediate on-scene assistance from a security guard or other person employed by the hotel. 

 

Los Angeles, CA

A portable electronic emergency contact device, including but not limited to a panic button, that signals the hotel worker’s location and that provides direct contact between a hotel worker and a hotel security guard or responsible manager or supervisor designated by a hotel employer to respond to violent or threatening conduct. A personal security device does not include a whistle, noise-maker, alarm bell, or similar device that does not provide direct contact between the hotel worker and the designated security officer. Learn more.

 

Oakland, CA

An emergency contact device carried by the hotel employee which allows him or her in the event of an ongoing crime, threat, or other emergency to alert another employee or security guard responsible for providing immediate on-scene assistance. 

 

Sacramento, CA

A portable emergency contact device that is designed so that an employee can quickly or easily activate such button or device to summon to the employee’s location prompt assistance by hotel staff that are able to provide immediate aid and assistance such as a hotel security officer or manager. 

 

Santa Monica, CA

A portable emergency contact device, including, but not limited to, a panic button, that is designed so that a hotel worker can quickly and easily activate such device to summon to the hotel worker’s location prompt assistance by a hotel security officer, manager or supervisory hotel staff member designated by a hotel employer. Learn more. 

 

West Hollywood, CA

A portable emergency contact device, including but not limited to a panic button, that is designed so that a hotel worker can quickly and easily activate such device to summon to the hotel worker’s location prompt assistance by a hotel security officer, manager or supervisory hotel staff member designated by a hotel employer. Learn more.

 

For more detailed information about the legislation in each city, download our Panic Button Legislation - A Comprehensive Guide for Hoteliers.

 

The Future of Panic Buttons for the State of California

Since many larger cities in California have already passed legislation about enhancing the safety of the employees who work in hotels and casinos, it’s likely to see more cities pass similar bills soon. The improved safety legislation in a neighboring city may also be a competitive reason for a hotel employee to work at another location, which may cause retention problems for cities that do not have a panic button legislation.

 

Ready to start improving the safety of employees in the workplace? Schedule a free demo to learn how a panic button device works in a workplace safety solution for hotels: https://www.reactmobile.com/demo-request.

Topics:CasinoPanic ButtonsCalifornia