Via Media Release:
Santa Monica Commission to Take Action on Hotel Housekeeper Protection Policy
Hotel housekeepers will speak to Santa Monica’s Commission on the Status of Women (COSW) tonight in support of legislation to protect them from sexual assault.
WHO: Hotel housekeepers from Santa Monica, Commission on the Status of Women
WHERE: Ken Edwards Center, 1527 4th St., Santa Monica, CA 90401
WHY: Because they work alone in guest rooms without witnesses or surveillance cameras, hotel housekeepers are uniquely vulnerable to threatening conduct by hotel guests, including sexual assault. According to a July 2016 survey of nearly 500 hospitality workers in Chicago, 49% of housekeepers reported having had guests answer the door naked, expose themselves, or flash them. Many instances of sexual assault and other threatening conduct go unreported. In the same survey, only one third of hospitality workers reported that they had told their supervisor or manager about their experiences.
Since 2012, UNITE HERE has worked with community allies to implement similar policies in New York, Seattle, and Chicago. The union is asking Santa Monica to consider similar legislation, which would include panic buttons and other measures to enable workers to report misconduct and remove themselves from dangerous situations without fear of retaliation.
On Wednesday night, workers will ask COSW to support the legislation in concept and recommend that the City Council introduce it as early as possible.