Senate Passes Panic Button Bill

The New Jersey State AFL-CIO and Unite Here Local 54 President Bob McDevitt led a delegation of casino and hotel workers today in Trenton to lobby on behalf of S-2986/A-4439—a bill requiring hotels to provide panic buttons to employees for protection from unsafe working conditions, violence, and sexual assault while performing housekeeping duties. We are proud to report that the bill passed unanimously by a vote of 37-0.

We thank the prime sponsors of this bill: Senator Loretta Weinberg (D-37), Senator Linda R. Greenstein (D-14), Assemblyman John Armato (D2), and Assemblyman Vincent Mazzeo (D2). We also thank our affiliates who joined us to lobby in support of this important legislation.

The harassment of hotel workers, especially housekeepers, has been a longstanding issue the industry needs to address. Unite Here Local 54, a union representing nearly one-third of casino and hospitality workers in Atlantic City, was a driving force behind this legislation, which will provide workers an additional measure of security.

Governor Murphy is expected to sign the bill in June. The new law will make New Jersey the first state to require panic devices for hotel workers.

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