Pol: Hotels Should Equip Maids With Personal Security Buttons

Monday, May 23, 2011

A state lawmaker has introduced a bill that would require hotel maids to be equipped with personal security devices, in the wake of the recent arrest of ex-International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who's been accused of sexually assaulting a hotel worker at the upscale midtown hotel Sofitel. 

State Assemblyman Rory Lancman, who chairs the assembly's subcommittee on workplace safety, said hotel maids are often alone when they are cleaning rooms, leaving them vulnerable and "at the mercy of the guest."

"Although we often think about workplace safety in terms of construction workers falling off a building, or mine workers getting a mine collapsing on them, every workplace has its own workplace safety challenges," Lancman said.

Lancman said the personal security devices — much like the emergency buttons used by elderly people who live alone — are readily available, and can cost as little as $20 a month. If approved, his legislation would become part of New York State Labor Law.

The New York Hotel Workers' Union said it supports the bill. A spokesman added that violent incidents like the alleged attack are not frequent occurrences in city hotels. He also said the city has strong security regulations in place. The Hotel Association of New York City is currently reviewing the bill. A spokeswoman said the group shares the goal of keeping hotel workers safe.


More in:

Comments [4]


Absolutely correct! I heard Joy Behar suggest such a thing a week ago on The View!

May. 25 2011 04:13 PM
morris wise from USA

Hotel maids cannot be weak, most have to change the sheets on mattresses weighing up to 300 pounds ten times daily. It is almost impossible that 62 year old dominique could move one of those heavy mattresses an inch. In a wrestling contest between DSK and his six foot tall African maid I would bet my life savings on her flipping him in ten-seconds. Those that dream he was strong enough to hold her down while he was getting a BJ are masturbating or determined to send a fragile old man to prison.

May. 23 2011 06:42 PM
Ellen from b'burg

great idea and long overdue.

It is sad that housekeepers have to face this danger, that some male hotel guests use their rooms to entrap. That said, the use of a panic button provides some small safety for the housekeeper, and certainly clarifies the real situation when the guest is confronted and insists it is consensual.

May. 23 2011 03:14 PM
Naomi Alexis from Brooklyn

It says a lot about our expectations of the behavior of men that women who walk into hotel rooms to clean should have to arm themselves with a panic button or a weapon to defend themselves against unwanted and forceful advances. Even if only the minority of these cases actually result in physical assault.
We're animals but the entire basis of existing in a society is following rules that ask us to deny the most base-animal like instincts that would tear the fabric of society asunder.

The alternative is usually a perp walk.

We should expect better for the sake of humanity,

May. 23 2011 02:39 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.


Latest Newscast




WNYC is supported by the Charles H. Revson Foundation: Because a great city needs an informed and engaged public


Supported by