Hotel Workers Sexual Harassment Ordinance

October 11, 2017

Kenneth Gunn    312.744.1545

Today the City Council passed the Hotel Workers Sexual Harassment Ordinance which provides new protections for hotel workers from sexual harassment. The ordinance, introduced by Ald. Michelle Harris (8th Ward) requires hotels to comply with three major duties: 1) provide panic buttons or similar notification devices to employees who have to enter guest rooms or restrooms alone, 2) develop, maintain, and comply with anti-sexual harassment policies, and 3) provide all employees with a copy of the policy and post it in conspicuous places within the hotel.

The Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) and the Commission on Human Relations (CCHR) will both be responsible for enforcing specific terms of the ordinance. Hotel employees who file a sexual harassment complaint with the CCHR will be protected from retaliation for filing the complaint. The CCHR can impose penalties including orders to cease the illegal conduct, order monetary damages, and the payment of the employee’s attorney’s fees. CCHR will also notify BACP of any second violations of the ordinance by the same hotel which may result in license revocation.

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