Hotel Employees Safety Protections Ordinance

Ordinance: SMC 14.26

Hotel Employees Safety Protections Q & A

Notice of Community Advocate and Crime Victim Rights

The Hotel Employees Safety Protections Ordinance

This law requires covered employers to take measures to prevent, address, and respond to guest conduct that is "violent or harassing," which is defined as assault, harassment, nonconsensual sexual contact, and indecent exposure. 

Some of these measures include:

  • Providing panic buttons to employees
  • Posting signage in guest rooms 
  • Implementing policies and procedures against violent and harassing guest conduct  
  • Sharing those policies and procedures with guests and employees
  • Restrictions on assigning employees to work in or make deliveries to a guest's room where its occupant has been accused of violent or harassing conduct
  • Allowing the survivor employee to be reassigned away from the accused guest if they wish
  • Providing the survivor employee with paid leave to work with law enforcement and/or to consult with a support person  

This law covers hourly employees that work at either a Seattle hotel or motel of 60 or more rooms or at an ancillary hotel business.  Hourly employees are those employees who are entitled to Seattle's Minimum Wage, SMC 14.19.   

Covered employers are:

  • Hotel employers, which are employers that own, control, or operate a Seattle hotel or motel with 60 or more guest rooms, and 
  • An ancillary hotel business of any size.   

An ancillary hotel business is a business that has one or more of the following relationships to a covered hotel:  

  • Routinely contracts with a hotel to provide services in conjunction with the hotel's purpose,
  • Leases or subleases space at the site of the hotel to provide services in conjunction with the hotel's purpose, or 
  • Provides food and beverages to hotel guests and to the public where the business has an entrance within the hotel premises.  

Effective Date: July 1, 2020  

Translations: The Notice of Community Advocate and Crime Victim Rights is available in Amharic, Arabic, French, Karen, Korean, Nepali, Oromo, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, Somali, Spanish, Tigrigna, Tagalog and Vietnamese on the OLS Languages webpage here.

Hotel and Ancillary Hotel Employees Notice of Rights Workplace and Notice of Community Advocate and Crime Victim Rights: The most updated annual posters and notices are available for download in English on our Resources pages.  These documents are also available in Spanish and multiple other languages on the Language Access pages.

Other Resources: OLS provides resources on this law on our Resources pages, including a Comparison Chart that shows the differences between the City and State's panic button requirements.