Things That Matter

Major Hotel Chains Are Rolling Out Panic Buttons To Protect Their Employees From Sexual Assault

Workers rights have been evolving and changing sine the Industrial Revolution. Things like the five-day work week, eight-hour days and safe working conditions were all rights that had to be forced on employers through legislation, unions and activism. These things give workers a safe working environment that everyone deserves if they are putting in the time. The latest fight in workers rights is happening in hotels and is thanks in part to the #MeToo movement. Major hotel chains are finally stepping up to protect their housekeepers and other employees by rolling out panic buttons.

Major hotel chains will soon provide panic buttons to their employees in order to prevent them from sexual assaulted and other crimes.

“Protecting our employees and the millions of guests who stay in our hotels each day is of paramount importance to the industry,” Katherine Lugar, president and chief executive of the American Hotel and Lodging Association, said to the media, according to Reuters.

Executives and leaders in the hotel industry had resisted the extra safety step, but increased pressure changed their position.

A report by the Center for American Progress showed the employees in the accommodation and food industry have filed the most harassment charges than any other industry.

“The accommodation and food services industry—including full-service restaurants, fast-food restaurants, coffee shops, recreational facilities, inns, hotels, and other hospitality establishments—accounted for 14.2 percent of the sexual harassment claims filed,” reads a report from the Center for American Progress. “Recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that women represent the majority of workers in the accommodation and food services industry, often in lower-paying jobs such as food servers and preparers.”

The device looks just like a key chain and can be pinned on clothing or hidden in pockets.

According to Reuters, the cost to produce and distribute the device will cost “hundreds of thousands of dollars,” but it seems like gadget will be very much worth it.

Hotels like Marriott International Inc and Hilton will begin to roll out the device to their employees in the next couple of years.

“In those moments you don’t feel safe; you don’t see that person any more as a guest,” Dallamy Santos told Reuters. “You don’t want to have to worry about where you’re going to get the help.”


READ: 13 People Have Accused Peruvian Photographer Mario Testino of Sexual Assault

Do you think this panic button will help prevent sexual assaults in hotels? Let us know by sharing this story and commenting in the section below!

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ICE Just Deported A Key Witness in A Sexual Assault Investigation Against Them

Things That Matter

ICE Just Deported A Key Witness in A Sexual Assault Investigation Against Them

According to the Texas Tribune, the key witness in the ongoing sexual assault investigation at an ICE detention center has been deported. She was previously being held at a Customs Enforcement detention center in El Paso, Texas.

While the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General initially forbid ICE from deporting her, the office apparently reversed their decision on Monday. According to reports, the office determined that “further interviews could be done over the phone”.

via Getty Images

According to previous reports, the unidentified 35-year-old woman alleged that guards had “forcibly kissed” her and touched her on the private parts.

Documents, which were extensively reported on by ProPublica, described the harassment as a “pattern and practice” at this particular detention center.

The woman also alleges that the guards would attempt to extort sexual favors from her and other detainees when they were returning from the medical unit back to her barrack. One guard allegedly told her that he would help get her released “if she behaved”.

The unnamed woman reported the harrasment to her lawyers who then filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General. The DHS then opened an investigation into the ICE Detention Center in El Paso.

The FBI has, since then, interviewed the woman extensively. According to documents, the woman gave investigators a tour of the facility where she showed them where the alleged harassment took place–in what were identified as security camera “blind spots”.

According to her, the guard told her that if she reported him, “No one would believe her”.

via Getty Images

Since the woman made these accusations, at least two other women at the same detention center came forward with similar claims. One of these women has already been deported.

According to previous reports, the unnamed woman accusing ICE officials of sexual assault was being held at the El Paso detention center for a drug-related crime and illegally entering the country. She claims she initially fled Mexico after a cartel member sexually assaulted and threatened her.

While ICE says that they have “zero tolerance for any form of sexual abuse or assault against individuals in the agency’s custody”, the reality is much bleaker.

According to the advocacy group Freedom for Immigrants, ICE has had 14,700 complaints filed against them between 2010 and 2016 alleging sexual and/or physical abuse.

In the most recent statistics available, ICE reported 374 formal accusations of sexual assault in 2018. Forty-eight of those were substantiated by the agency and 29 were still pending an investigation. According to Freedom for Immigrants, only a fraction of these complaints are investigated by the Office of Inspector General.

The woman’s lawyer, Linda Corchado, has not been shy about expressing her displeasure over her client’s deportation.

“[The government] allowed their most powerful witness to be deported,” Corchado said. “How can we possibly take this investigation seriously now or ever pretend that it ever was from the outset?”

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Women Talked About Being Sexually Harassed At Work And What It Was Like To Report It

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Women Talked About Being Sexually Harassed At Work And What It Was Like To Report It

Scott Olson / Getty

Sadly the reality of working alongside a harasser can be all too true for most women. Back in 2018, just months after the #MeToo Movement saw its rise an online survey launched by a nonprofit called Stop Street Harassment discovered that 81 percent of women and 43 percent of men experience some form of sexual harassment in their lifetime. Those numbers became all the more alarming when compared to the workplace, in fact, the survey revealed that 38 percent of women said they experienced sexual harassment at the workplace. As NPR, pointed out at the time “these experiences are more likely to be assaults and the most severe forms of harassment”

Recently a post on Reddit highlighted the effects of harassment in the workplace and they were pretty surprising.

Check them out below.

He was fired for something unrelated to the harassment.

“When I worked in food, one of my managers would slap me on the butt or rub up against me every time he walked behind me. He also was constantly asking me what I saw in my then-boyfriend and how I could have a “real man” if I wanted. I just put up with it because the job was temporary and I would be moving in a few months. Before I left, it was discovered that he had been stealing money from the restaurant for a couple of years, totaling up to over $10k. He obviously was fired and my remaining months there were fairly pleasant.l” – bccdeff

“Yes. I spent a day and a half stewing about whether to report it to HR, because the HR person at my office has a grudge against me (confirmed by my boss). Eventually I did report it and she handled it professionally. However, since then I’ve been finding ways to avoid working in the warehouse with the men who I reported. They got to keep their jobs because there was no proof, it was a he said/she said situation. When I do run across the two guys they avoid me. Which I guess is fine, I’d rather not talk to them anymore. I just hope I don’t have to work in their building anytime soon.” –_ism

‘Yes unfortunately, and when I reported it the first two times it was hard but I had to do it. I was looked down upon after reporting it but I wanted not only for the harassment to stop but I also felt as though I was speaking up for the women who never felt they could speak up because they were told to keep their mouths shut. The third time it happened, from the same 65-year old old man asshole who had a daughter the same age as me, I went to a lawyer and made it clear to my boss that I went to a lawyer and spoke about what happened and how the company was trying to sweep the actions of this man under the rug. That talk with my attorney was enough to scare the shit out of the company and to finally take me seriously. I didn’t sue the company through many people told me I should, but I felt that the way I stuck up for myself was important. And the assholes at the company who were trying to cover up the sexual harassment are now afraid of me because of the statue of limitations. Good. They should feel scared for covering up harassment and illegal actions.” – RevlisNDlog

This one where it was her supervisor.

“It was my supervisor and yes I reported it. I was led into a small room with 2 dry HR reps who asked me a lot of questions and didn’t look at me. Two weeks later I was led into the same small room and told that after their “investigation” they had decided not to pursue any disciplinary action against my supervisor but I was “free to resign” if I still “felt uncomfortable.” Gee thanks, how kind of you!” – kishbish

This one where she didn’t feel safe enough to report it.

“Yes. Huge place, I was an intern and ironically I was there to work on gender equality. I didn’t report it and yes I regret it.” –AnanasBurn

“I have, and I did report it. They didn’t fire me for that; however, they waited for several months, wrote down everything that I did that might have been considered against company policy, decided that I still couldn’t fired, and then cut my hours from 40 a week to four, essentially making the job nonviable and forcing me to find another one.” – 1fthebeautifulpeople

“Yes, when I was working at a supermarket. One dude kept commenting on my appearance, asking if I had a boyfriend, asking for my number and trying to get me to go on a date with him. Another kept saying he “knew me from somewhere” and kept asking me where I lived (not only my city… but my street and house number too), my birthdate, my full name, etc. It was very creepy. I’ve also witnessed sexual harassment. I had to pay something at the city hall. Behind the main desks were people working on computers and papers. One of the women at the main desk was helping me out, and while she went to look for some things I had to sign, I saw this man harassing his coworkers. He nibbled on the ear of one woman, grabbed another by the waist, then told another to cheer up and nibbled on her ear too. Then he went and kissed the woman who was helping me out on the neck. I guess the woman must’ve seen my stunned face when she came back so she laughed and said: “oh he’s always that way! So funny that one, such a womanizer… He’s always doing those things, grabbing us, kissing us. The newer and younger girls are always creeped out, but I tell them how it is, that’s just how he is. You get used to it, he’s so funny.” – xSolcii

This case where she ended up getting fired.

“Yes. I reported it, no action was taken, and they later did not renew my contract (like a sort of soft sacking) ostensibly due to my needing a week off to have an operation. There was discretion in that policy ie they didn’t have to sack me, and they did renew the contract of a dude in my team who’d been off for longer than me and had worse performance figures. Shrug. I’m fairly sure I could have taken them to court and won (for the original sexual harassment and lack of action and later under the disability discrimination act) but I’m in the middle of my masters and work full time so the timesink was too much. A man at my current job made a comment to me in my first week about the size of his penis and I reported it, he was spoken to the next day (other women had reported him for similar stuff) and now he just ignores me even when we’re the only two people in the room, which is totally fine by me lol. I think it helped that my current supervisor is female.” – Mittenflap

“Yes. I was one of only a few staff members who had to interact with a locally-famous person who was responsible for securing donations we really needed. He was a sexist asshole but everyone expected me to put up with it because he was famous and it was “just a bit of fun!” worth eye-rolling and moving on. It was exhausting and painful. Also, I worked for a while at a company that makes large equipment for international sale. The “benevolent” sexism was constant, and belittling. The outright sexism was a career ender for women there. The company had consolidated some years ago and a number of people were laid off. When promotions and transfers were available, women were overlooked even if qualified and up-to-date in order to advance or rehire a man because “they had families to support” and we were expected to be understanding. So women stayed at the bottom rung and men were moved up and into better positions. This was only about 6 years ago, not in 1950. When I was in college, I worked for a coffee shop where the owner’s ridiculous sexism caused women to quit in record numbers. He believed that women were better cleaners/cooks at home, but not at work because they “didn’t understand business standards” and weren’t strong enough to mop/clean on an “business-sized level.” He also told girls who weren’t as pretty to work in the back when it got busy so that customers would be happier looking at pretty girls. Apparently, how the male employees looked didn’t matter.” – AtTheEolian

“A guy at an internship I used to have would make comments to me about coming and doing work on his lake house with him on weekends and that I could bring a bathing suit and go swimming. He was much older than me, probably 65+, and he talked about it a lot. I was 20 and I tried mentioning often that I had a boyfriend and declined his invitations. He would also try and create situations that would force me to work after 4:30 (when everyone else had left) and I would always refuse. He had been in the company a long time and the employees were at least 85% men. It didn’t feel like it was direct enough to report and the whole company had sort of a slightly sexist atmosphere so I didn’t think I would be taken seriously. It seriously creeped me out and I dreaded running into him at the office.”- tallhokiegirl

In this story, her boss sent her inappropriate text messages and now SHE’S considered a “trouble-maker.”

“My mentor reported it on my behalf. I’m working in a pretty sexist Asian country, so now I have the reputation of being a “trouble-maker”. I still can’t get a job in most banks. I used to have headhunters called me, and I even got a phone call from our competitor’s HR immediately after news got out that I was leaving. She told me she wanted to call me back as soon as she can schedule the time with the guy I’d be working under. When my mentor reported this, I had a friend from another bank ask me about the incident the very next day. Word gets around fast in finance. Never got a call back, can’t get replies either. I’m still in finance, but definitely in a less prestigious bank. Here’s the story of what happened with a link to the messages he sent me. And nope, don’t want to take this further. There are no sexual harassment protections in my country, and my parents are already fucking pissed about me “embarrassing” them by reporting this. Yes, my bank has been sued for gender discrimination and sexual harassment before. All the women had their reputations trashed even though they got a settlement. I don’t want that, I still need a job.”- bankergoesrawrr

“Yes, one of my bosses used to sexually harass me (and other women in the office) constantly. All the incidents were fairly minor and the other women and I would occasionally commiserate together and laugh it off. I was made to feel very uncomfortable, but I never reported him to HR because he was a senior administrator and I was a lowly underling and I am 100% sure that it would have been hushed up, with my dismissal quietly arranged shortly thereafter. And to me it wasn’t worth the inevitable media shitstorm that would have ensued had I gone more public.” – feanorhatesyou

This one that happened despite the fact that she thought her profession would keep her safe.

“I have been sexually harassed at more than one job. At my first job, it got really bad to the point of being sexual assault. I reported it and nothing happened. At 16, I didn’t have much of a home support system and I also thought I’d never work again if I sued, so I didn’t pursue it higher than telling the regional manager. At my second job, I was sexually harassed. A female manager overheard and reported the guy who did it to store management. That guy didn’t get in trouble; instead, I was told by the store manager that I needed to grow up. When I became a lawyer, I believed that I wouldn’t be harassed because surely they’d know better at a law firm. Wrong. At my first job at a solo practitioner firm, the guy would encourage me to date potential clients. At my second job at a different solo firm, my boss would make jokes about what a slut I was. I didn’t report him. There was no one to report him to. Instead, I’d tell him to fuck off. What was really bad about that experience was the secretaries, both women in their 50s, didn’t stand up for me. They acted horrified over my behavior in standing up for myself rather than the boss’ behavior. I was more mad at them as women than I was at him. As an aside, it’s really difficult to maintain a sexual harassment action in my federal circuit. I think it’s because they’ve seen so many of them. You basically have to be actually assaulted to maintain one.” – Maniacalmama

“Yeah but I was a waitress and they were customers. I didn’t report them because they were just stupid comments. My boss did regularly ban people from the restaurant who were super gross to us, though.” –mompants69

“I was an employee at McDonald’s – I was locked in the freezer, sprayed with a hose, my butt slapped with a towel, and porn was shown in the training room.” – FunkyRiffRaff

And finally, this one where the harassment got disturbingly graphic.

“I work as a waitress, so sexual harassment is unfortunately almost par for the course. One time, however, a coworker took it too far. He was always leering ate from the kitchen and saying degrading things under his breathe, but I kind of ignored them. Then, he started using the system we use for scheduling in order to send me messages. He said he wanted to “tear me up” and “have kids with me” and more things that just made me uncomfortable. I printed them, took them to my manager, and he was fired.A week later he threatened me because he knew I cost him his job, but in the end I was glad I did it. No one should put up with that at work.” – irish-ygritte

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