P.L. 2019, CHAPTER 123, approved June 11, 2019
Senate, No. 2986 (Second Reprint)
1 AN ACT concerning the protection of hotel employees from sexual 2 assault and other dangerous working conditions and 3 supplementing Title 29 of the Revised Statutes.
5 BE IT ENACTED by the Senate and General Assembly of the State 6 of New Jersey:
8 1. The Legislature finds and declares that the hospitality 9 industry is a profitable and vital component of the State’s economy, 10 and that hotel employees play a significant role in providing 11 hospitality services to tourists and other guests at hotels throughout 12 the State.
13 Due to the unique nature of hotel work, hotel employees are 14 [to unsafe working conditions because they
particularly vulnerable 1
15 alone in hotel guest rooms, which
often work] when working1
16 sometimes may be occupied. This solitary work places them at risk 17 of assault, including sexual assault, and sexual harassment. 18 hotel employers have not adequately addressed
19 the safety concerns of hotel employees.
1[Hotel] Many hotel1employees are 1[often]1
21 members of society with limited means to support themselves and 22 their families, and without adequate support, may feel intimidated 23 to report inappropriate and criminal conduct for fear of 24 repercussions or retaliation from their employers.
25 It is appropriate and necessary to protect hotel employees from 26 violent acts, including sexual assault, sexual harassment, or other 27 inappropriate or criminal conduct to which they may be subjected 28 while performing their duties.
30 2. As used in this act:
31 “Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Labor and 32 Workforce Development.
33 “Hotel” means any hotel, inn, boarding house, motel or other 34 establishment whose proprietor offers and accepts payment for rooms, 35 sleeping accommodations or board and lodging and retains the right of
EXPLANATION – Matter enclosed in bold-faced brackets [thus] in the above bill is not enacted and is intended to be omitted in the law.
Matter underlined thus is new matter.
Matter enclosed in superscript numerals has been adopted as follows:
1Senate SLA committee amendments adopted December 3, 2018.
2Assembly floor amendments adopted May 23, 2019.
1 access to, and control of, the premises which are let, which contains at least 2 1002
2 guest rooms.
3 “Hotel employee” or “employee” means any natural person who works full-time or part-time 1
4 performing housekeeping or room service duties1
5 at a hotel for or under the direction of the hotel 6 employer or any subcontractor of the hotel employer for wages or 7 salary or remuneration of any type under a contract or subcontract of 8 employment.
9 “Hotel employer” or “employer” mean any person, including a 10 corporate office or executive, who directly or indirectly or through an 11 agent or any other person, including though the services of a 12 temporary staffing agency, employs or exercises control over the 13 wages, hours, or working conditions of any person employed in 14 furtherance of the hotel’s provision of lodging and other related 15 services for the public.
16 “Guest room” means any room made available by a hotel for 17 overnight occupancy by guests.
“Panic 1[button] device1” means a 1
18 [portable emergency contact] 19 is kept on an
two-way radio or other electronic1device which 1
20 employee’s person when the employee is in a guest room, and that 21 to
permits1an employee 1[can quickly and easily activate]1 1communicate with or otherwise1
22 effectively summon immediate on 23 scene assistance from a security officer, manager or supervisor, or 24 other appropriate hotel staff member.
- a. A hotel employer shall provide a panic 1[button] device1 27 each hotel employee assigned to work in a guest room without any 28 other employees present, at no cost to the employee. An employee 29 if the employee reasonably
may use the panic 1[button] device1
believes there is an ongoing crime, 1or immediate threat of assault or1
31 harassment, or other emergency in the employee’s presence. The hotel 32 employee may cease work and leave the immediate area of perceived 33 danger or inappropriate conduct to await the arrival of assistance, and 34 no adverse action may be taken against the hotel employee for such 35 action.
36 This subsection shall not apply if the terms of a collective 1
37 bargaining agreement address the issuance of panic devices to hotel 38 employees or otherwise address safety and reporting procedures for 39 hotel employees working in guest rooms without any other employees
41 , an
b. Upon a hotel employee activating a panic 1[button] device1 42 appropriate staff member of the hotel, manager or supervisor, or 43 security officer shall respond promptly to the location of the hotel 44 employee.
45 A hotel employer shall:
46 (1) Keep a record of the accusations it receives that a guest has 47 committed an act of violence, including sexual assault, sexual
1 harassment, or other inappropriate conduct towards a hotel employee 2 and shall maintain the name of the guest so accused on the list for a 3 period of five years from the date of the incident.
4 [Conduct an internal investigation to determine as much
5 identifying information about an accused guest as is reasonably 6 possible. Upon conclusion of the investigation, if the hotel employee 7 [If the accused guest is convicted
provides a certified statement of]2
8 [involving an assault or
of a crime in connection with1an incident]2 1
9 sexual harassment, or if the hotel employer determines there is 10 information in addition to or independent of a hotel employee’s 11 statement that reasonably supports the hotel employee’s description of the incident]2
12 [brought to the attention of the hotel employer by the 13 ,
pressing of a panic device or otherwise reported by a hotel employee1 14 the hotel shall decline to provide occupancy to the guest for a period of 15 [A hotel
at least three years from the date of the incident.]2 1
employee shall not be required to provide a certified statement.]1
2[(3)]2 Report any incident involving alleged criminal 2[1 inappropriate1]2conduct by a guest 1or other person1
18 to the 19 so that the law enforcement
appropriate law enforcement agency 1
20 agency may make a determination as to whether to pursue criminal 21 and cooperate with any investigation undertaken by the law
22 enforcement agency.
23 who are assigned to
2(4)2 Notify 1[all]1hotel employees 1
24 housekeeping or room service duties of the room in which an alleged 25 of the presence and location of any guest named on
26 [b. of
the list in accordance with paragraph (1) of 2this2subsection 2 27 , and provide hotel employees, other than the hotel
28 , the option of
employee who activated the panic 1[button] device1
29 either servicing the guest room of a guest on the list with a partner 30 hotel employee or opting out of servicing the room for the duration of 31 the guest’s stay at the hotel. The hotel employee who activated the 32 shall immediately be reassigned to a different
panic 1[button] device1
33 work area away from the guest room of the guest for the duration of 34 the guest’s stay at the hotel.
35 [c.] d. If an accused guest is convicted of a crime in connection 2
36 with an incident brought to the attention of the hotel employer by the 37 pressing of a panic device or otherwise reported by a hotel employee, 38 the hotel may decline to provide occupancy to the guest. e.2
39 The hotel employer shall develop and maintain a program, 40 which may include written information, to educate hotel employees regarding the use of panic 1[buttons] devices1
41 and their rights in the 42 , and to
event the hotel employees activate their 1[buttons] devices1 43 when
encourage hotel employees to activate panic 1[buttons] devices1 44 appropriate.
45 The hotel employer shall advise guests of the panic
46 it provides to hotel employees either by: 1[buttons] devices1
1 (1) requiring guests to acknowledge the policy as part of the hotel 2 terms and conditions upon checking in to the hotel; or 3 (2) placing signs on the interior side of guest room doors in a 4 [button]
prominent location and in large font, detailing the panic 1 5 policy and the rights of hotel employees.
7 [violates any provision of this act]
- a. A hotel employer who 1
8 does not provide a panic device to its employees pursuant to 9 subsection a. of section 3 of P.L. c., (C. ) (pending before the
Legislature as this bill) or does not follow the 2[protocol] protocols2 10
11 of section 3 of
established in 2[subsection] subsections2b. 2and c.2
12 P.L. , c. (C. ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) upon 13 shall be subject to a civil
a hotel employee reporting an incident1
14 penalty in an amount not to exceed $5,000 for the first violation and 15 $10,000 for each subsequent violation, collectible by the Department 16 of Labor and Workforce Development in a summary proceeding 17 pursuant to the “Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999,” P.L.1999, c.274 18 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.).
19 b. The commissioner shall, pursuant to the “Administrative 20 Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), adopt rules and 21 regulations to effectuate the purposes of this act.
23 5. This act shall take effect on the first day of the sixth month 24 next following enactment, except that the commissioner may take 25 any anticipatory administrative action in advance as shall be 26 necessary for the implementation of this act.
31 Requires hotels to provide panic devices to certain hotel 32 employees for protection from unsafe working conditions while 33 performing housekeeping duties.