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Chicago considers ordinance requiring panic buttons for hotel staff

BROOKFIELD, WI April 28, 2017 RF Technologies (RFT) HELP ALERT® Panic Alert System for Hospitality was recently featured in a news story (WLS-TV, Chicago) highlighting the need to protect hospitality workers from violence and assault in the workplace. The story outlined an ordinance introduced on April 19, now under consideration by the Chicago City Council, which would require that certain staff in Chicago hotels be equipped with panic alert devices to protect them while they work. RFT’s Marina Willis, president, Pinpoint Technologies, was interviewed for the story.

According to a Chicago Tribune report, the bill, sponsored by Alderman Michele Harris, 8th Ward, and backed by labor unions including Unite Here Local 1, would require that employees working alone in Chicago hotels be issued panic buttons (such as RFT’s HELP ALERT wireless pendant) that would enable them to warn security quickly if they encounter potentially dangerous situations in guests’ rooms. The ordinance would also require that hotels post sexual harassment and assault policies and promise no retaliation against workers who report encountering such treatment. Hotels that do not provide the panic alert buttons and adhere to other parts of the measure could be fined up to $500 per incident.

“Has this prevented things from escalating? Absolutely,” says Willis, of RF Technologies. “We’ve had situations where we have had housekeepers go into a room, start cleaning, and someone comes out of the bathroom not wearing any clothes and blocks them from leaving the room.” Hotel workers are already wearing these devices in New York and Washington, D.C. Similar mandates and/or ordinances will soon be adopted in cities including Seattle, San Francisco, and areas in Southern California, where they are being requested with increased frequency by staff members and local unions representing hospitality workers.

RFT is pleased to be a part of such an important initiative focused on keeping hospitality workers safe. We are ready to put to work our 30 years of experience keeping people safe in hospitals, schools, colleges and universities, senior living facilities, and hotels, with our HELP ALERT Panic Alert System.

For additional information on this important issue, follow these news links:

  • http://www.mychinews.com/news/chicago-hotel-workers-may-soon-have-a-panic-button
  • http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-rahm-emanuel-chicago-city-council-0418-story.html
  • http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/hotels-urged-to-combat-sexual-harassment-against-female-employees/
  • http://abc7chicago.com/news/panic-button-ordinance-proposed-to-protect-hotel-workers/1885056/

Also, a July 2016 report issued by Unite Here Local 1:


About RF Technologies

RF Technologies provides safety solutions at over 10,000 senior living, healthcare, education and hospitality facilities nationwide. Life safety solutions such as CODE ALERT® Wander Management, QUICK RESPONSE® Wireless Nurse Call, SAFE PLACE® Infant Security, and HELP ALERT® reduce risk for residents, staff, and the facility; innovations such as RFT CARES® smartphone application improve caregiver coordination and efficiency. Backed by 30 years of experience in senior living, RF Technologies’ solutions are UL-certified to meet today’s life safety standards. For information visit: http://www.rft.com.


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