The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), in partnership with a consortium of leading hotel brands, has unveiled the 5-Star Promise, a new workplace safety initiative designed to prevent sexual harassment and assault.
Among the platform’s focal points is a commitment to provide hotel workers across the U.S. with “employee safety devices,” aka panic buttons. They are already common in several key markets, including New York, Washington, Chicago and Seattle. The 5-Star Promise is targeting “broad implementation” of the devices across the country by 2020. The devices can vary in functionality, ranging from loud noise-emitting features to emergency GPS tracking.
“As we know, and have heard even more so in the past year, no industry is immune from dealing with the issues of sexual harassment. Combating this takes vigilance,” said AH&LA CEO Katherine Lugar at a press event in Washington D.C. on Thursday. “Employee safety devices can be an important line of additional protection, particularly for those workers whose job requires them to go room to room.”
Marriott International, IHG, Hilton, AccorHotels and Hyatt are among the hotel groups that have joined the 5-Star Promise, making pledges to build on their existing safety and security protocols.
Marriott announced that panic buttons would be made brand standard across managed and franchised hotels throughout the U.S. and Canada, with a full rollout targeted by 2020.
Both IHG and Hilton have pledged to have devices available at all managed U.S. properties by 2020, while AccorHotels detailed plans to provide them to employees who enter guestrooms and restrooms unaccompanied by 2020. Hyatt said that the company last fall had introduced personal-distress alarms for employees who enter guest rooms.
In addition to the deployment of panic buttons, the 5-Star Promise includes commitments to ensure anti-sexual harassment policies are in place in multiple languages; provide ongoing employee training and education; and build on partnerships with organizations that promote workplace safety, including the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, End Child Prostitution and Trafficking and Polaris.