Protecting Miami Beach Hotel and Hostel Employees From Possible Threat of Assault or Sexual Harassment

– On first reading the Miami Beach City Commission unanimously approved a measure sponsored by Commissioner Kristen RoseGonzalez that would provide hotel workers a body alarm/ security button to be able to report inappropriate incidents in their workplace  –

Miami Beach could join the ranks of cities like Chicago and Seattle by approving an innovative measure that would give more than 11,000 hotel workers access to a body alarm/security button. The portable emergency device would provide an immediate and effective way for hotel workers to connect to police and hotel security and management if they feel in any way threatened or harassed during work hours.

“I ultimately want all hotel staff to feel they are protected and be able to report incidents of sexual harassment without the fear of being fired,” shared Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez. “I also want to commend my colleagues for supporting the development of this necessary ordinance in our city.”

“This proposed ordinance recognizes that in the time of the #MeToo movement, low wage, mostly immigrant women are unfortunately among the most vulnerable to sexual assault at work. Arming hotel housekeepers, more than half of whom report being victims of sexual harassment at work, with safety buttons gives them some level of protection. We are grateful to Commissioner Rosen Gonzalez and all the Miami Beach Commissioners for their unanimous support at first reading,” stated Wendi Walsh, secretary-treasurer of Unite Here Local 355.

“The safety and security of our employees and guests is a top priority in our hospitality industry,” noted Wendy Kallergis, President of the Greater Miami and the Beaches Hotel Association. We look forward to working together this upcoming year with Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber and the Miami Beach Commissioners to implement the most protective and innovative product for our employees.”

The next City of Miami Beach Commission meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, July 25. If the ordinance is approved, it will take effect January 2019 and hotels and hostels would need to offer their employees the device. Hotels and hostels would also be required to place a designated sign on the inside of each guest room door, providing information regarding the new measure.

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