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St. Charles, IL Chicago, IL Office Davenport, IA Office Minneapolis, MN Office Milwaukee, WI Office
St. Charles, IL Chicago, IL Office Davenport, IA Office Minneapolis, MN Office Milwaukee, WI Office

Get Ready! All Owners of Hotels and Casinos in Illinois Must Soon Protect their Employees from Sexual Assault and Harassment with Panic Button Safety Devices!

An Illinois law, titled the Hotel and Casino Employee Safety Act becomes effective July 1, 2020.

Employers covered under the new law: All hotels and casinos located in Illinois, regardless of the number of employees, number of guest rooms, or size.

Employees covered under the new law: Any employee (full or part-time, as well as employees of subcontractors) assigned to work in a guest room, rest room, or casino floor.

Employers must do the following:

  1. Equip employees with a portable emergency contact device or panic button that can be used to summon help if an employee reasonably believes there is an ongoing crime, sexual harassment or assault, or other emergency.
  2. Develop and adhere to a written anti-sexual harassment policy.

The anti-sexual harassment policy must contain the following:

  • Encourage employees to immediately report any instance of alleged sexual assault or harassment by a guest or any other person.
  • Establish a procedure whereby employees fearful of or victims of a sexual assault, harassment or violence, can:
    • Cease work and leave the area.
    • Receive a temporary work assignment for the duration of the offending guest's stay at the hotel/casino.
    • Receive paid time off to file a police report or criminal complaint and, if required to be a witness in a legal proceedings.
    • Be informed of state law rights against sexual harassment and retaliation.
  • The policy MUST be posted. The law requires that the policy be posted in conspicuous locations in the workplace and that it be available in English, Spanish, and any other language spoken by a majority of the employees.

Remedies/Damages under the law: Employees have a private cause of action against the employer after giving written notice to the employer to remedy the violation within 15 calendar days.

Damages under the law include reinstatement, compensatory damages, and attorney fees and costs with economic damages capped at $350 per violation per day.

Illinois hotel and casino employers get ready for July 1, 2020. Order your panic buttons, develop your policy and train your employees.

Questions? Contact attorney Anthony J. Caruso, Jr., in our St. Charles office at (630) 377-1554 or by email at [email protected].

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