Panic Button Laws: A Must-Know Guide for Illinois Hotels & Casinos

a photo of someone opening a hotel door with a keycard

Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and does not substitute legal advice. 
Want legal advice? Check out our podcast episode on this subject with the lawyers from Sheppard Mullin.

In the ever-evolving landscape of the hospitality industry in the U.S, legislative measures and commitments towards employee safety are gaining significant momentum. The 5-Star Promise by the American Hotel & Lodging Association in 2018, aimed at equipping hotel employees with panic buttons and robust policies, encapsulates this growing focus.

Legislation Overview
The Illinois Hotel and Casino Employee Safety Act took effect in 2020, mandating that each hotel and casino must provide a panic button to employees working alone. Moreover, operators must develop and comply with a written anti-sexual harassment policy.

Responsibilities of Operators
The Act applies to all Illinois hotels and casinos, regardless of size.

Operators must:
- Supply a free panic button device to employees working alone.
- Maintain and enforce a written anti-sexual harassment policy in English, Spanish, and any other significant languages among the employees.

Panic Button Utility
The panic button should allow quick and easy emergency contact, providing location details to facilitate swift assistance. The purpose of these devices is to provide immediate help in situations like ongoing crimes, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and other emergencies.

Non-Compliance Consequences
Non-compliance with the Act can lead to employees filing a lawsuit against the operators, potentially resulting in the operator paying attorney’s fees, costs, and damages of up to $350 per violation per day.

At WorldSafe, we are dedicated to promoting safety in the hospitality sector. We collaborate with panic alarm technology companies like HaloSOS to provide custom solutions that ensure compliance with legislation.
Contact us for a free threat assessment for your establishment.

Summer Lambert


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