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Posted on: December 6, 2023

Anaheim Hotel Worker Protection Law takes effect Jan. 1 with rules for hotels, motels, timeshares

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (Dec. 6, 2023) — Anaheim’s Hotel Worker Protection Law takes effect Jan. 1 with hotels, motels and timeshares required to enact alarms and other measures to ensure safety on the job for a major industry in our city.

 

As of Jan. 1, lodging operators need to provide electronic security devices, or alarms, for those working by themselves in guestrooms and restrooms along with alarm monitoring, response, training and guest notification.

 

You can find full details at Anaheim.net/hotelworker.

 

The site includes a detailed fact sheet and overview presentation, a link to the law within the Anaheim Municipal Code, a guest notification sign and an application for a temporary extension based on reasonable delays.

 

With 25 million visitors annually, lodging is a major industry in Anaheim with 150 hotels, motels and other accommodations.

 

While uncommon, housekeepers and other workers can face threats from guests and others.

 

The Hotel Worker Protection Law, adopted by Anaheim’s City Council in June and added to the Anaheim Municipal Code in July, seeks to ensure consistent standards and measures to safeguard lodging workers.


 

Who’s covered

 

All hotels, motels and timeshares in Anaheim are covered by the law.

 

They include large hotels and timeshares near the Anaheim Convention Center and Disneyland theme parks in The Anaheim Resort, motels in the resort and across city with the largest number on Beach Boulevard, and other hotels, motels and timeshares across the city.


 

Personal security devices

 

Hotels, motels and other lodging must provide personal security devices to employees working by themselves in guestrooms or restrooms.

 

They are required for but not limited to: 

  • Housekeepers
  • Porters and bellhops
  • Room service
  • Maintenance
  • Concierge
  • Security
  • Others working by themselves in guestrooms or restrooms, except managers and supervisors. 

Security devices must be portable, in direct electronic contact with response monitoring 24 hours a day. They must signal an employee’s location and be in good working order.

 

For those that already have security devices and monitoring, cross check requirements at Anaheim.net/hotelworker or the Anaheim Municipal Code.

 

Unacceptable security devices include: 

  • Whistles
  • Noise-makers
  • Bells 
  • Electronic alarms or any other devices not connected to monitoring

 

Security device use

 

Security devices are for violent or threatening conduct on the job.

 

Employees can activate security devices whenever they reasonably believe that violent or threatening conduct or another emergency is taking place.

 

Employees can activate a security device, call 911 or Anaheim Police dispatch, or all three, depending on the situation.


 

Monitoring, response

 

At all times, lodging operators are required to monitor security devices and respond to activations.

 

Responders are security guards, managers, supervisors, front desk staff or others trained and assigned to monitor and respond.


 

Records

 

Employers must keep records of security device activations and incidents for three years.

 

Records for training and monitoring and response assignments are also required and can be handled similar to personnel records at the discretion of employers.


 

Training

 

Lodging operators must train workers on how to use personal security devices and on how to respond to alarms.

 

Training must also cover the Anaheim Hotel Worker Protection Law, maintenance and operation of devices, monitoring and how to respond to activations.

 

Training must be done within 30 days of Jan. 1, 2024, for current workers or within 30 days of hire for new workers and offered in English and any prominent second language with Spanish being most common in Anaheim.


 

Employee safeguards

 

Employees bringing violent or threatening workplace activity to the attention of employers are protected under the law. 

 

They must be allowed up to three hours of paid time, or more at the employer’s discretion, to report to Anaheim Police and to consult with a counselor or adviser of their choice.

 

Except in clear cases of misuse or abuse, there can be no penalty for activating devices or reporting, or not reporting, violent or threatening conduct to police.

 

Upon request, lodging operators must provide reasonable changes for employees who encounter or report violent or threatening conduct, including modified schedules, reassignment or other accommodation.


 

Guest Notification

 

Lodging operators are required to notify guests of the law and the use of security devices.

 

Guests must acknowledge electronically or in person at check-in that “Anaheim law protects hotel workers from threatening behavior, and in compliance with such law, this hotel provides personal security devices to its employees.”

 

Lodging operators must also prominently display in guestrooms notification to guests, visitors and others that “Anaheim law protects hotel workers from threatening behavior” and that personal security devices are provided to employees.

 

A sign for display or use as an example is available at Anaheim.net/hotelworker.


 

Enforcement

 

Violations of the Hotel Worker Protection Law are subject to lawsuits by employees or others.

 

There are no criminal penalties for violations, though violent or threatening conduct always can be subject to criminal prosecution, charges and penalties under California law.

 

Anaheim will check for compliance as part of regular tax auditing of hotels, motels and other lodging. 

 

The city can also request compliance proof at any time.


 

Extension

 

Lodging operators reasonably unable to meet the law by Jan. 1 can apply for consideration of a temporary extension.

 

Extensions may be granted for reasonable delays in getting personal security devices, software and equipment and in implementing systems and staffing, among other reasons.

 

An extension request form is at Anaheim.net/hotelworker.

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