House passes panic button measure for isolated workers

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Legislation requiring panic buttons for isolated workers including hotel housekeepers and janitors has passed its second floor vote in Washington’s Legislature.

The bill is intended for workers whose jobs require mostly working alone; the devices would summon help from other workers or management. Along with housekeepers, it would apply to janitors, custodians and other isolated workers.

The House approved the bill 57-35 Wednesday, its second floor vote after clearing the Senate in February.

Along with the panic button, the bill requires employers to adopt sexual harassment policies, train managers in sexual harassment prevention, and provide employees with a list of resources including contacts for advocacy groups.

Because it was amended in the House, the bill will have to be re-approved by the state Senate.