If you work in the hospitality industry in the Bay Area, you know it can be an uncomfortable and dangerous job. Due to the fact you often need to work in isolation and in close proximity to strangers, you are at risk of sexual harassment. Unfortunately, hotel housekeepers face an unacceptable amount of sexual assault and harassment from guests.
Harassment can occur at any time, but there are some safety tips you can follow to avoid and escape from scary situations. Here are some actions you should take to combat sexual harassment at your hotel.
1. Know the safety procedures
Study the layout of the hotel you work at and take note of all exits. Know the names of the managers you should talk to if you experience harassment from a guest. If you do not have a panic button, understand how to contact security personnel. Thankfully, panic buttons for hotel employees are becoming more widespread. According to the Los Angeles Times, the biggest hotel chains, including Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton, IHG and Wyndham are equipping workers across the country with panic buttons.
2. Be aware of your surroundings
Stay alert at all times, especially when entering rooms. Never assume a room is empty even if it is past check-out time. Check that no one is hiding behind a closet door or in the bathroom. By surveying all your surroundings, you can prevent attackers from catching you off-guard.
3. Report and document incidents
You may feel intimidated about reporting harassment or believe it will not help anything. However, it is vital to report all inappropriate incidents and write down the details of your experiences. By reporting harassment, the hotel may be able to ban abusive guests. You may even be able to press charges against these individuals. If your employer fails to protect you, you may also consider filing a sexual harassment claim with legal help.