New U.S legislation for Lone Workers in Hotels and Casinos

Two new laws are being introduced to help protect lone workers.


Signed into Illinois state law on August the 9th 2019 by Governor J.B. Pritzker, the ‘Hotel and Casino Employee Safety Act (S.B. 75)’ requires all employees working alone in guest rooms, restrooms or casino floors to be supplied with a safety or notification device at no cost to themselves.

Similar measures have been passed in New Jersey, New York and Seattle. Several major hotel chains have voluntarily pledged to make safety devices available to their workers by 2020, according to an April 11th press release from Senator Ram Villivalam, the bill’s sponsor¹.

New Jersey

New Jersey’s Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill in June of this year intended to help protect hotel housekeeping and room service workers against assault and harassment whilst working alone.

The bill, S.2986, scheduled to come into effect in January of 2020, requires hotel employers to provide a “panic button” device to employees who are assigned to work in a guest room without co-workers present. If the device is activated, an appropriate staff member, such as a manager, security officer or supervisor, must respond immediately to the worker’s location.

Loretta Weinberg, the state’s Senate Majority Leader, said in a press release on June the 11th, “No one should ever have to work in fear. The isolating nature of hotel employees servicing private rooms puts them in a uniquely vulnerable position. A panic device to communicate to authorities outside of the room in case of harassment and assault will go a long way to ensuring their safety, security and workplace well-being².”

Lone Worker Safety Solutions

There are a number of panic button and lone worker solutions available for hotel and casino owners to purchase in order to keep their lone workers safe. One such solution is Ok Alone, the lone worker safety solution from Trusty Ox Systems.

Ok Alone’s lone worker safety app runs on a worker’s smart phone and allows workers to check in at regular intervals or request help if they need it. The system has GPS capabilities that can locate a worker if they activate the ‘help’ alert. Through the app, a supervisor or security personnel, will be notified if a worker requests immediate assistance, keeping in line with the new bill S.2986.

Other features of Ok Alone include the ‘High Risk’ function where workers can change the frequency of their check-in depending on their circumstances. The check-in can be set to every 10 minutes if required. Using this feature also alerts the worker’s company that they are entering an area they do not feel safe in.

The ‘Man Down’ function notifies a worker’s supervisor if there has been no movement within a set amount of time (1 minute – 1 hour set by the worker). If no movement is detected the phone will sound an alarm alerting the worker that there has been no movement. If this alert is not responded to by the worker, it will be escalated to the worker’s supervisor who will contact the worker and send immediate assistance if necessary.

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