Efforts are being ramped up to prevent sexual harassment and sexual assaults at hotels and motels across the Garden State.

The American Hotel & Lodging Association has launched a campaign to have all hotel and motel workers get employee safety devices — ESDs — to help protect them while they’re on the job.

AHLA president and CEO Chip Rogers said it’s important for these individuals to have a way to protect themselves from sexual assault and harassment.

“These types of things are society-wide, we recognize that and we wanted to be a leader on this.”

So far, 56 major hotel brands have signed on to the 5-Star Promise campaign.

Rogers said the goal is to make sure all hotel workers get an ESD and know how to use it.

“Clearly, if you’re cleaning a room and you’re detached and you’re working by yourself, it’s most important that you have a safety device," he said.

Rogers pointed out a new law will take effect in the Garden State next year mandating that all hotels with 100 rooms or more provide ESDs to their employees.

“This is going to eventually roll out to every hotel, regardless if it’s a 100 room hotel or a 20 room hotel," he said. “We thing that’s important because every one of these employees deserve the peace of mind of knowing that they’re safe.”

He noted the 5-Star Promise campaign will take some time to complete because “there’s about 1,050 hotels across the state of New Jersey, it’s a really big industry in your state.”

Rogers said nationally more than 20,000 hotels have committed to providing their workers with ESDs.

He said depending on the size and configuration of the hotel or motel, different ESDs will be used.

“Some of them can be connected through the hotel to law enforcement, and in certain situations that might be the very best. Some of them might be large sirens.”

He also noted some of these devices will have a built-in GPS.

Rogers said when hotels and motels hand out these devices, there will also be a training session.

The American Hotel & Lodging Association has created an ESD guide that is posted on their website.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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