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Sacramento Poised To Require ‘Panic Buttons’ At City Hotels

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

The city of Sacramento could soon require larger hotels to provide “panic buttons” for their employees.  

The city’s law and legislation committee on Tuesday advanced an ordinance to the full council that would make hotels with 25-or-more rooms provide the buttons at no cost to employees.

At the meeting, Nuri Rubio with the Unite Here Local 11 union told council members that hotel employees should have the ability to call for help when they are being harassed by guests.

"Many of our members have been touched inappropriately by guests. Some have been asked where they live, what time they get off work, and followed around the hotel," she said, adding that some employees have entered rooms where guests are naked and "engaging in behavior that no one should be forced to see.”

In California, the cities of Long Beach and Oakland already require the buttons at hotels with 50 rooms and more, joining Seattle, Chicago and New York with similar panic button policies.

The California Hotel & Lodging Association says the proposed ordinance should provide panic buttons for employees at smaller hotels, as well.

A bill before the California Legislature last year would have made the buttons mandatory for hotels in the state. It passed the Assembly but failed to make it out of a senate committee.

Bob Moffitt

Sacramento Region Reporter

Bob reports on all things northern California and Nevada. His coverage of police technology, local athletes, and the environment has won a regional Associated Press and several Edward R. Murrow awards.   Read Full Bio 

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