In the past few months, thousands of women nationwide have taken a stance against sexual harassment. In the news, we have seen very serious allegations come out against some very powerful men, Matt Lauer, Louis CK, Harvey Weinstein, just to name a few. And unlike situations like these in the past, many of the powerful men who have been accused of sexually assaulting women are finding their careers crumbling.
This recent movement has empowered other women to come forward with their stories of sexual harassment and assault in the workplace, especially those who work in the Hospitality Industry. According to a recent survey of Chicago hospitality workers, 58 percent of hotel workers and 77 percent of casino workers said they had been sexually harassed by a guest.
These numbers are large and sadly, unsurprising. In fact, so many hospitality workers have come forward with allegations and experiences of sexual harassment that Chicago recently joined other cities in the US to introduce a panic button law for hospitality workers.
The demand for panic buttons for hospitality workers began in 2011, after French politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn was accused of assaulting a housekeeper at a New York hotel. Shortly after, the New York Hotel Trades Council negotiated a contract for 30,000 union workers to be provided panic buttons.
Chicago City Council passed the hospitality worker protection ordinance in October 2017. The ordinance requires hotels to outfit housekeepers and others who work alone in guest rooms or bathrooms with panic buttons by July 2018. It also requires hotels to develop sexual harassment policies that show workers how to report incidents and provide them with time to file complaints with the police.
Chicago is following suit with Seattle, who passed a hospitality worker protection ordinance in November of 2016. The ordinance, entitled Initiative 124, was designed to protect hotel workers against workplace injury and sexual harassment. Since the passing of the ordinance, Seattle hotel workers have reported feeling safer on the job.
Sexual Harassment is not the only security risk hospitality workers face, after the Las Vegas mass shooting in October of this year, the industry is looking to enhance Hotel Security for both employees and guests. Though hotels and their guests value privacy, many are realizing they value their safety more.
The question then becomes, how can hotels keep their guests safe while also respecting their privacy? Some hotels have begun scanning guests bags using handheld wands as a short-term solution. Several other large hotels are considering metal detectors and baggage screening machines at their entrances. However, greater security comes at a much greater cost and hiring more staff and security personnel to conduct those checks, may be imperative.
The Hospitality Industry needs a low-cost solution that enhances the safety and security of each hotel worker and their guests. Las Vegas Hotels are known for having some of the most sophisticated surveillance in the world. Could more cameras be the solution to deter and protect Hotel guests and staff? Surveillance cameras have long been known to be an effective deterrent against crime, but will we begin to see cameras in the guest room halls and other less than secure guest areas to secure Hotels and their guests?
Given the timing and how apparent this problem is across the hospitality industry, it is likely that other cities and hotel brands will follow suit and implement additional safety measures, proving both hotel employees and their guests a safer environment.
This is where Occly can really help. Occly offers a low-cost solution that not only helps enhance the safety for both workers and guests, but also increases operational efficiencies. With 4 cameras always recording and a panic button readily available, Occly might just be the perfect low-cost security solution the hospitality industry needs. Visit us at www.occly.com to learn more about how the Occly solution can help you.