San Diego Law






california legislature—2017–18 regular session
Introduced by Assembly Members Muratsuchi, Quirk, and Carrillo
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Bonta, Gonzalez Fletcher, Kalra,
Levine, McCarty, and Reyes)
January 4, 2018
An act to add Section 6403.7 to the Labor Code, relating to
legislative counsel’s digest
AB 1761, as amended, Muratsuchi. Employee safety: hotel workers.
Existing law, the California Occupational Safety and Health Act of
1973, requires, among other things, that an employer provide for the
safety of its employees. Existing law requires an employer to provide
and use safety devices and safeguards reasonably adequate to render
the employment and place of employment safe.
This bill would require, among other things, that a hotel employer,
as defined, provide its employees, as defined, with a panic button, as
specified, in order to summon immediate assistance when working
alone in the guestroom. The bill would require a hotel employer to post
a specified notice in each guestroom regarding these provisions. The
bill would require a hotel employer to provide paid time off to an
employee who is the victim of assault in order to contact the police, a
95counselor, medical professional, or an attorney. The bill would require
a hotel employer to provide reasonable accommodations to an employee
who has been subjected to an act of violence, sexual assault, or sexual
harassment by a guest, as specified. The bill would require a hotel
employer, upon request of an employee, to contact law enforcement to
report an act constituting a crime and to cooperate in the investigation.
The bill would prohibit a hotel employer from discriminating or
retaliating against an employee who reasonably uses a panic button,
reports a specified act, requests time off, reasonable accommodations
under these provisions. The bill would establish a minimum standard
of protection for these employees and would authorize the enactment
and enforcement of more protective policies.
The bill would impose a specified civil penalty on hotel employers
for violations of its provisions and would provide legislative findings
in support of its provisions.
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: no.
State-mandated local program: no.
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
line 1 SECTION 1. The Legislature finds and declares:
line 2 (a) It is the intent of this measure to protect hotel employees
line 3 from violent assault, including sexual assault, and sexual
line 4 harassment, and to enable those employees to speak out when they
line 5 experience harassment or assault on the job.
line 6 (b) Hotel employees are often asked to work alone in hotel
line 7 rooms, which sometimes may be occupied, placing them at risk
line 8 of violent assault, including sexual assault, and sexual harassment.
line 9 SEC. 2. Section 6403.7 is added to the Labor Code, to read:
line 10 6403.7. (a) A hotel employer shall do all of the following:
line 11 (1) Provide employees working alone in a guestroom with a
line 12 panic button, free of charge. The employee may use the panic
line 13 button, and cease work, if the employee reasonably believes there
line 14 is an ongoing crime, harassment, or other emergency happening
line 15 in the employee’s presence. The hotel employer shall develop an
line 16 appropriate protocol, including any necessary training, for how
line 17 staff, security, and management shall respond when a panic button
line 18 is activated. The protocol shall be calculated to ensure an
line 19 immediate on-scene response to the greatest extent possible.
AB 1761 — 2 — line 1 (2) Post a notice on the back of each guestroom door with the
line 2 heading, “The Law Protects Hotel Housekeepers and Other
line 3 Employees from Sexual Assault and Harassment.” The notice shall
line 4 be printed in no less than 18-point type and state that panic buttons
line 5 are provided to hotel employees assigned to work alone in
line 6 guestrooms, including housekeepers, room servers, and other
line 7 employees.
line 8 (b) If an employee informs the hotel employer that the employee
line 9 has been subjected to an act of violence, sexual assault, or sexual
line 10 harassment by a guest, then the hotel employer shall do the
line 11 following:
line 12 (1) Provide the employee with paid time off to contact law
line 13 enforcement, seek injunctive or other legal relief, contact an
line 14 attorney, or seek medical treatment, counseling, or other services
line 15 for any physical or mental injuries resulting from the act of
line 16 violence, sexual assault, or sexual harassment. As a condition of
line 17 taking time off for purposes of this paragraph, the employee shall
line 18 give the employer reasonable advance notice of the employee’s
line 19 intention to take time off, unless the advance notice is not feasible.
line 20 When an unscheduled absence occurs, the hotel employer shall
line 21 not take an adverse action against the employee if the employee,
line 22 within a reasonable time, provides documentation showing that
line 23 the absence was for a reason set forth in this paragraph.
line 24 (2) Provide, upon request by the employee, reasonable
line 25 accommodations for an employee who has been subjected to an
line 26 act of violence, sexual assault, or sexual harassment by a guest.
line 27 Reasonable accommodations may include, but are not limited to,
line 28 transfer, reassignment, modified schedule, or any other reasonable
line 29 adjustment to a job structure, workplace facility, or work
line 30 requirement.
line 31 (3) Upon request of the employee, report the act committed
line 32 against the employee to law enforcement and to cooperate in any
line 33 law enforcement investigation, if the act constitutes a crime.
line 34 (4) Comply with any other obligations required by any
line 35 applicable local, state, or federal law, including, but not limited
line 36 to, the requirement to investigate all reports of workplace
line 37 harassment and to take appropriate corrective actions, as provided
line 38 in subdivisions (j) and (k) of Section 12940 of the Government
line 39 Code.
— 3 — AB 1761 line 1 (c) A hotel employer shall not discharge or in any manner
line 2 discriminate or retaliate against an employee who reasonably uses
line 3 a panic button, reports an act of violence, sexual assault, or sexual
line 4 harassment, takes time off, or requests reasonable accommodations
line 5 as provided by this section. The protections provided by this
line 6 subdivision are in addition to any protections against retaliation
line 7 provided under Section 98.6, 98.7, or 1102.5. 1102.5 of this code,
line 8 or subdivision (h) of Section 12940 of the Government Code.
line 9 (d) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the
line 10 following definitions:
line 11 (1) “Employee” means an individual who, in any particular
line 12 workweek, performs at least two hours of work for a hotel
line 13 employer. “Employee” also includes a subcontracted worker.
line 14 (2) “Hotel employer” means a person, including a corporate
line 15 officer or executive, who directly or indirectly, including through
line 16 the services of a temporary staffing service or agency, employs or
line 17 exercises control over the wages, hours, or working conditions of
line 18 employees at a hotel, motel, bed and breakfast inn, or similar
line 19 transient lodging establishment as defined in Section 1865 of the
line 20 Civil Code and includes any contracted, leased, or sublet premises
line 21 connected to or operated in conjunction with the purpose of the
line 22 lodging establishment.
line 23 (3) “Panic button” means an emergency contact device that an
line 24 employee can use to summon immediate on-scene assistance from
line 25 another employee, security personnel, or representative of the hotel
line 26 employer.
line 27 (e) In lieu of any other penalty provided by Chapter 4
line 28 (commencing with Section 6423), a hotel employer that violates
line 29 this section shall be subject to a civil penalty of one hundred dollars
line 30 ($100) for each day that the violation continues, not to exceed one
line 31 thousand dollars ($1,000).
line 32 (f) This section establishes a minimum standard to protect
line 33 against violence or sexual harassment of all hotel employees in
line 34 this state, unless not subject to this section, and is in addition to,
line 35 and supplementary to, any other federal, state, or local law or
line 36 ordinance, or any rule or regulation issued thereunder. A city,
line 37 county, or city and county shall have the power to adopt laws or
line 38 ordinances, and rules and regulations thereunder, establishing
line 39 antiviolence and antiharassment standards for hotel employees
line 40 within their jurisdictions. Antiviolence and antiharassment
AB 1761 — 4 — line 1 standards for hotel employees established by applicable federal,
line 2 state, or local law or ordinance, or any rule or regulation issued
line 3 thereunder, which are more favorable to hotel employees than the
line 4 minimum standards applicable under this section, or any rule or
line 5 regulation issued hereunder, shall not be affected by this section
line 6 and those other laws, rules, or regulations, and shall have full force
line 7 and effect and may be enforced as provided by law.

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