Many hotel workers, particularly those who work alone in guest rooms, are the targets of sexual harassment or assault from hotel guests. In a 2016 report released by Puget Sound Sage, 53% of hotel housekeepers surveyed in downtown Seattle hotels reported experiencing some form of sexual harassment, including being flashed and groped by guests.
Sexual harassment or assault in the workplace is unacceptable, regardless of the source.
SMC 14.25 requires hotel employers to:
- Post notice of the City’s anti-harassment and assault law protecting hotel workers inside all guest room doors.
- Provide workers who work alone in guest rooms with panic buttons.
- Keep records of reports of sexual harassment or assault by guests.
- Warn workers if a guest who has previously harassed or assaulted a worker returns to the hotel.
- Ban guests against whom a sworn accusation or harassment or assault has been made.
As a worker, you have the right to:
- Report sexual harassment or assault to a supervisor or manager without fear of discipline or other retaliation, including against you on the basis of your immigration status.
- Take paid time to consult with a counselor and/or call the police if you are sexually harassed or assaulted at work.
- Be reassigned to a different work area away from the person who harassed or assaulted you.
There are additional community resources available to help you if you are experiencing sexual harassment, assault, stalking, abuse, or other forms of sexual violence at work or at home:
- API Chaya
- Consejo Counseling and Referrals Service
- Harborview Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress
- King County Coalition Ending Gender-Based Violence
- King County Sexual Assault Resource Center
- NW Network for Bisexual, Trans & Lesbian Survivors of Abuse
- Refugee Women’s Alliance
- Seattle Counseling Service for Sexual Minorities
- Sexual Violence Law Center