New Jersey in the US has introduced a new bill that will require hotels in the state to provide staff with panic buttons in a bid to prevent assaults.
The new law, which will come into effect in January, will apply to any hotel with 100 bedrooms or more to give housekeepers and cleaning staff access to immediate help through use of the device.
State democratic governor Phil Murphy announced the change on Tuesday, saying he was “proud” to sign the legislation that will “give hotel workers security and the ability to immediately call for help should they need it.”
New Jersey is the first state to mandate the devices, although similar measures are under consideration in Illinois, Florida and Washington.
Several major hotel chains, including Marriott and Hilton, have already announced plans to provide the devices to their staff.
It follows an attack in 2018 where a cleaner was pushed into a room by man who then sexually assaulted her at a casino in Atlantic City.
A group of hotel workers were present at the signing and many of them praised the decision in interviews with the Associated Press.