ATLANTIC CITY — Gov. Phil Murphy is about to sign a new law that will provide a measure of workplace safety for thousands of hotel housekeepers across the state.
The governor will be at Harrah's Resort Atlantic City to sign a bill that requires hotels to provide panic buttons to employees for protection from unsafe working conditions, violence and sexual assault while on the clock. Once the bill is signed into law, New Jersey will be the first state to mandate such devices for hotel workers.
The legislation was unanimously approved by both the Assembly and Senate in May.
The workplace safety measure was pushed by casino hotel housekeepers from Unite Here Local 54, the labor union which represents nearly one-third of the industry's employees. There are nearly 2,000 housekeepers working in Atlantic City’s nine casino hotels.
The legislation was sponsored by all three of Atlantic County's state representatives, Sen. Chris Brown, R-Atlantic, and Assemblymen Vince Mazzeo and John Armato, both D-Atlantic.
The legislation requires hotels with at least 100 rooms to equip employees performing housekeeping or room service duties, at no cost to the workers, with panic devices for their protection against inappropriate conduct by guests.