CLIA Opposes AB 1761, Otherwise Known as the Panic Button Bill
CLIA Opposes AB 1761 (Muratsuchi). The bill creates unworkable requirements for paid leave, allows for a patchwork of state and local rules and unnecessary signage in regards to providing protection for hotel employees working alone and the provision of panic buttons.
Specifically, the bill would require, among other things, that a hotel employer provide its employees with a panic button, as specified, in order to summon immediate assistance when working alone in the guestroom.
The “other things” would require a hotel employer to do the following:
- Post a specified notice in each guestroom regarding these provisions.
- Provide paid time off to an employee who is the victim of assault in order to contact the police, a counselor, medical professional, or an attorney.
- 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.
- Upon request of an employee, 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.
- Establish a minimum standard of protection for these employees and would authorize the enactment and enforcement of more protective policies.
- Impose a specified civil penalty on hotel employers for violations of its provisions and would provide legislative findings in support of its provisions.
Under AB 1761, hotel employers in compliance with the provisions of the bill could be subject to ever-changing requirements for new and different equipment, as well as new and different protocols for compliance. Each local ordinance could be different from all other local ordinances. The result will be a patchwork of requirements that could have owners of multiple properties in different cities with not only potentially different panic buttons for different locations, but also different protocols, leave policies, complaint response procedures and civil penalties.
This lack of conformity and predictability for businesses creates costly equipment purchase requirements and administrative burdens, which is why the state occupies this space so that employers can create consistent policies across the state. Therefore, this section should be deleted in its entirely.
What can you do? Contact your legislator and tell them you are opposed to AB 1761.
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Vote No on AB 1761